Get ready! The tree lover’s holiday is upon us, just a few short weeks away. Before long, Edmond will be overrun by purple red buds, fragrant tree blossoms and unfurling green leaves. The Urban Forestry Department would be thrilled to have you join us in celebrating our favorite holiday of the year, Arbor Day!

Here in Oklahoma, Arbor Day is actually a weeklong celebration, which we know as Arbor Week. It falls between March 25 and March 31 this year. Here is a rundown of this year’s events:

The Arbor Day Art Show will be at the Edmond Library, from March 26-28. This second annual art show displays select entries for the Arbor Day Poster Contest. In this contest, fifth-grade students at participating schools create artwork surrounding the theme “Trees in Our Town.”

Expanded from last year, the art show includes 65 students’ artwork on display, first through fifth place, from 13 Edmond schools. Sponsors of this event include the Edmond Library and the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond.

The Arbor Day Poster Contest is a traditional part of Edmond’s Arbor Week activities and one student’s interpretation of the theme is vastly different from the next. Fostering this type of consideration of the benefits of trees in our local environment encourages stewardship among future generations and continuation of Edmond’s legacy as a Tree City. If you are near the library March 26-28, stop in and see some of Edmond youths’ perspectives on our urban forest.

Also on March 26 are Arbor Week recognitions at the City Council meeting, starting at 5:30 p.m. The mayor will kick off the presentations by proclaiming it “Arbor Week.” The first-place winners of the Arbor Day Poster Contest will be recognized, and sponsors include Frame Master and Citizens Bank of Edmond. Other presentations include Tree City USA and Tree Line USA recertificationand recognition of E-Tree Award winners. There is still time to submit nominations for E-Tree Awards, online at edmondok.com/etree.

The final big element of Arbor Week is the second annual Arbor Day Tree Planting, scheduled for 10 a.m. March 31. This year’s planting, with the theme of “Right Tree, Right Place,” will take place on the west side of Bryant Avenue between Ninth Street and Second Street along the Fink-Hafer trail.

Because overhead utility lines run along Bryant, all trees planned for the Arbor Day Tree Planting are small stature, utility compatible trees that will not grow into the wires. A community tree planting event, volunteers are welcomed to join in celebrating Arbor Day by planting trees along a high-use section of the Edmond trail system.

Don’t forget, you can celebrate Arbor Day by planting or caring for trees at your home as well. The Urban Forestry Department still has trees available for this season’s Foster-A-Tree program, too. Registration is available at edmondok.com/foster.

We hope you enjoy your trees in this beautiful time of year.

LEIGH MARTIN is urban forestry assistant for the City of Edmond.

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