TROY — Arbor Day was welcomed with open hearts on Friday in Menke Park, as third grade ambassadors from various local schools and members of the Troy Beautification Committee presented a newly planted birch tree.
Marty Baker, president of Troy City Council, spoke on behalf of Mayor Mike Beamish, proclaiming that trees “can reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce oxygen, and provide habitats for wildlife.”
Third-grade ambassadors, representing Concord Elementary School, Forest Elementary School, Heywood Elementary School, Hook Elementary School, Kyle Elementary School, Miami Montessori School, and Overfield School, presented various tree-related facts, poems, and writings with those in attendance.
“It was decided long ago, even before I got involved, that this event would involve third graders,” said event organizer Amy Cullis, who has led the Arbor Day event since 2014. “I always tell people it’s because third graders understand consequences. They understand that if we chop down all the trees, the topsoil’s going to wash away and that we’ll decrease the oxygen in the air. They know that planting trees is a good thing.”
The students, along with the Troy Beautification Committee, commemorated the day by planting a white spire birch in the park, a species known to be deer-resistant and attractive to butterflies.
All third-grade ambassadors took turns shoveling fresh topsoil onto the base of the new tree to celebrate its life at Menke Park.
“This tree will become their tree,” Cullis said. “I hope parents will bring them by on occasion to visit their tree and see how it’s doing.”
As of 2018, the city of Troy has received the “Tree City USA” Award by the National Arbor Day Foundation for 32 consecutive years.
For more information, visit www.troyohio.gov.