Texas Forest Service to celebrate trees at State Arbor Day celebration in Pearland
As an urban forester, Mickey Merritt is no stranger to trees and the importance of planting them.
Newly-planted trees will one day provide much-needed shade for homes and businesses. They’ll help clean the air we breathe and the water we drink. They may even provide us with a quiet place to reflect and relax.
But for Merritt, newly-planted trees represent much more than the benefits they provide. They serve as a symbol for hope.
“I see the planting of trees as the planting of a seed of hope,” said Merritt, who serves as the Bayou Region Urban Forester for Texas Forest Service. “It’s hope that this tree will grow into something magnificent and strong and beautiful. It’s hope for the future.”
First observed in Texas in 1889, Arbor Day celebrates the planting and nurturing of trees, as well as all the ways that trees enrich our lives. The annual state celebration is held in a different city each year.
Merritt is serving as the coordinator of the state’s 122nd State Arbor Day celebration, which will be held Friday, April 29, 2011, at Southdown Park in Pearland, Texas. Festivities kick off at 10 a.m. and will be followed by a tree planting. Remarks will begin at 11 a.m.
Pearland City Councilmen Steve Saboe and Ed Thompson and Assistant City Manager Jon Branson will take part in the 2011 observance, as will dignitaries from various state and local organizations including the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, Texas Forestry Association, Texas Society of American Foresters, Keep Texas Beautiful, Texas Urban Forestry Council and the Houston Area Urban Forestry Council.
Tom Boggus, state forester and director of the Texas Forest Service, will serve as the master of ceremonies.
Several awards and recognitions also will be announced including the Community Volunteer Award, the State Tree Planting Awards and Texas Arbor Day Poster Contest winners.