Ready, set, plant: Montevallo’s 22nd annual Arbor Day

By MICHELLE ADAMS/Community columnist

Under the direction of Montevallo’s Arbor and Beautification Board, the city of Montevallo will be hosting its 22nd annual Arbor Day event at the Orr Park Recreation Building Saturday, Feb 22 from 9 a.m.-noon.

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Arbor Day was founded in Nebraska after nature enthusiast J. Sterling Morton moved into the territory in 1854 and advocated planting trees to provide windbreaks, fuel, soil stability, wood for construction and shade from the sun. This movement led to the planting of a million trees in Nebraska and the establishment of an official “Arbor Day.”

As a Tree City USA, Montevallo is committed to the planting and nurturing of trees. The event this Saturday is a natural extension of the city’s dedication to its trees. Montevallo’s Arbor Day has expanded over the past 21 years from having trees to pick up at the cash registers at Lucky’s and Piggly Wiggly, to providing more than 1,400 trees available for adoption by patrons.

Additionally, the event hosts local vendors, which, among others, include Green Valley Nursery, Cedar Creek Nursery, Shelby County Master Gardeners, Cahaba River Society, the University of Montevallo Environmental Club and Ebenezer Swamp Committee, Alabama Wildlife Center and Alabama Urban Forestry Association.

“Not only does the Arbor Day event provide education about tree care, but this has become quite the social event as well,” Arbor and Beautification Board Chair Herschel Hale said.

A panel of urban and community tree experts will be available to answer questions about the planting and care of trees. Also, Randy Glover from Centreville will present his pictures of Cahaba Lilies and be available for questions about this rare flower, and artist Tim Tingle will host a walking tour of the tree carvings in Orr Park.

“Montevallo is dedicated to maintaining a beautiful city in which to live and work,” Hale said. “There are a number of people who help coordinate this event, most of whom have been with us since we began our Arbor Day celebration, and we are appreciative of their continued promotion of the knowledge and care of city and community trees.”