Arbor Day celebrations sprout up around county

Published 3:52 pm Friday, February 20, 2009

Those looking to bring home a little natural beauty should check out the Arbor Day celebrations planned around the county for Feb. 28.

Each celebration will have tree seedlings to hand out to plant a breath of fresh air at home. The celebrations will be in Alabaster, Chelsea, Hoover and Montevallo.

Lacey Cortez, special events manager for Alabaster Parks and Recreation, said celebrating Arbor Day helps to foster respect for the environment.

“We’re trying to preserve our natural surroundings,” she said. “What we take away, we should replace. We’re actually contributing to the community by offering free trees.”

Chelsea Tree Commission member Mavis Efferson agreed, saying community members learn how to treat the environment through the Arbor Day events.

“We teach how to plant trees. We’re teaching about the environment,” she said. “(Trees) give us clean oxygen to breathe. They clean up what we breathe out.”

The Chelsea Arbor Day celebration helps to bind Chelsea citizens together, Efferson said.

“I think it’s wonderful. It brings us together as a city, and lets us know each other better and know what’s going on,” she said.

Each of the four cities holding celebrations has been designated as a Tree City USA. Cities have to meet certain requirements to be recognized as a Tree City USA, such as enacting a tree conservation ordinance and observing Arbor Day each year.

Information about each celebration is below.

ALABASTER — The eighth-annual Alabaster Arbor Day Celebration is Feb. 28 from 10 a.m.-noon at Veterans Park. At 10 a.m., tree vouchers will be handed out. At 11 a.m., trees and seedlings will be distributed. Trees are free, and limited to one per Alabaster family or business. This is Alabaster’s fourth year as a Tree City USA.

CHELSEA — Chelsea’s 10th-annual Arbor Day Celebration is from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Feb. 28 at the City Recreational Park on County Road 39. The Tree Commission will give away different kinds of trees, such as Redbuds, White Flowering Dogwoods, Red Maples and more. Tree experts will be on hand to offer advice on caring for trees, while the Chelsea Fire Department will provide educational information and show off Hero, the department Dalmatian. This is Chelsea’s 10th year as a Tree City USA.

HOOVER — The Hoover Arbor Day Celebration is intended to celebrate Hoover’s 10th year as a Tree City USA. The celebration will be Feb. 28 at 11 a.m. at the Aldridge Botanical Gardens. Tree seedlings will be distributed.

MONTEVALLO — Montevallo’s 17th-annual Arbor Day will be Feb. 28from 9 a.m.-noon at the Orr Park Building. More than 1,500 tree seedlings, including Japanese Maples, Southern Sugar Maples, Willow Oaks and other kinds, will be available for adoption, and tree experts will be on hand to demonstrate proper tree care. There will also be tours available, both of the tree carvings in Orr Park and of the different species of trees on the University of Montevallo campus. This is Montevallo’s 17th year as a Tree City USA.