AP NEWS

Mayor declares April 26 Arbor Day

April 11, 2019

Arbor Day for the City of Ludington will be observed on Friday, April 26, Mayor Steve Miller proclaimed Monday during the city council meeting.

Although it’s up to each community to decide when and if it celebrates Arbor Day, this year Ludington has chosen its festivities to coincide with the date of National Arbor Day.

In honor of Arbor Day — barring any weather-related problems — students from the Westshore Educational Service District will be working with the Ludington Department of Public Works (DPW) to plant black gum and redbud trees in Waterfront Park Friday morning. In the afternoon, students from Ludington Area Catholic School will be helping the DPW to plant black gum, tulip and flowering dogwood trees in Stearns Park, said Sharon Bradley-Johnson, tree advisory board chair.

“Hopefully, years from now, these students will look back and remember helping plant these trees,” she told the Daily News. “Also, for those who haven’t planted trees before, they’ll learn what procedures are involved to do it correctly.”

Arbor Day is a time to reflect on the many benefits trees provide to communities, such as improving the visual appeal of neighborhoods; providing shade during warm weather and wind breaks in cold weather, which reduce energy costs to households; removing air pollutants; absorbing noise; providing food and habitats for birds and animals; and preventing water runoff and soil erosion.

The tree advisory board is encouraging residents to participate in Arbor Day by keeping trees healthy and planting new trees.

“I urge all citizens to support the efforts of the tree advisory board and to become involved by participating in the planting of trees in our community,” Miller said during his proclamation.

TREE CITY

Ludington was also named a 2018 Tree City USA to recognize the city for its commitment to effective urban forest management. It was the goal of the tree advisory board for Ludington to achieve the tree city distinction.

Miller also thanked Bradley-Johnson and the tree advisory board for their efforts.

“My compliments, the council’s compliments and the citizens’ go to the chair of the tree advisory board, (Bradley-Johnson), for her work and her committee’s to get the recognition that they desired,” Miller said. “It’s really another facet in the jewel of our town.”

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. Ludington is one of more than 3,500 Tree City USAs in the country, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.

The four requirements for becoming a Tree City USA are having a tree advisory board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” stated Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation president in a press release. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”

In a letter to the mayor, Lambe also stated: “If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time. Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being and energy use. Ludington is stepping up to do its part. As a result of your commitment to effective urban forest management, you are helping to provide a solution to these challenges.”