Submitted by STEVE JASIECKI
MARGATE – The city and the Sustainable Margate Green Team celebrated Arbor Day, Friday, April 30 with a tree planting and tree giveaway in the field behind Ann Pancoast Dog Park.
Mayor Michael Becker presented a proclamation recognizing the last Friday in April as Arbor Day in Margate City and urged its citizens to support efforts to protect its trees and woodlands.
Trees play an important role in a city’s landscape by creating more attractive neighborhoods and enhance the economic vitality of businesses by making business districts more attractive and inviting. Health wise, trees lower air temperature by providing shade; they clean the air, produce oxygen and absorb carbon; and have a calming effect that reduces stress. Trees mitigate flooding by capturing rain and absorbing water through their root systems, provide food and habitat for wildlife, and have a quieting effect in neighborhoods by masking noise and provide an overall esthetic look to the community.
Five trees, including two red maples, a hackberry, a box elder and a dogwood were planted to showcase the different species of trees that are indigenous to the area and support native wildlife. The various types of trees were planted so people can identify and learn the difference between trees and help them decide which trees they would like to have on their property. Identification signs, which residents Bill and Ginny Gormley graciously offered to purchase for the community, will be placed at the base of the newly planted trees.
In addition to the tree planting, small potted red maple trees, bayberry shrubs and wildflower “seed-balls” made by teacher Jessica Cuevas’s third grade class were distributed to participants.
The first Arbor Day was observed in Nebraska in1865 to help promote the planting of trees, stress their ecological importance and to ensure future generations would have a source of building materials. Since then, Arbor Day is observed in all 50 states and several other countries. In 1970, President Richard Nixon proclaimed Arbor Day a formal day of observation.
STEVE JASIECKI is chairman of Sustainable Margate.