Officials gather in Pearland to celebrate the state’s 122nd Arbor Day
PEARLAND, Texas — With a firm grasp on their shovels, Texas Forest Service Director Tom Boggus and seven fellow tree aficionados ceremoniously piled mulch around the base of a newly-planted tree on Friday, formalizing the celebration of Arbor Day.
Dozens of local and state officials gathered Friday at Southdown Park in Pearland for the 122ndState Arbor Day celebration. In addition to the tree planting, several awards and recognitions were presented and state and local proclamations were read during the ceremony.
“This is a beautiful park,” Boggus said, gesturing to his surroundings as he kicked off the festivities. “You can tell Pearland cares about trees.”
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.
Representatives from various organizations —Texas Forest Service, City of Pearland, 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 — attended the 11 a.m. ceremony, as did several school children.
Several speakers talked about the importance of trees and the benefits they provide to everyone.
“No matter where we live, we all have one commonality — and that is trees,” Texas Forestry Association Program Director Susan Stutts said, as she detailed just a few of the hundreds of benefits that trees provide. “You don’t have to stand in the middle of the woods to be surrounded by the forest.”
Speakers also noted that the act of planting a tree was selfless because often the benefits often aren’t realized by the planter, but by future generations.
“In today’s world where selfish acts are unfortunately commonplace, the planting of trees is truly the opposite,” said Jim Carse, a forester with Texas Forest Service and past president with the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Community Volunteer Award
Marjorie Wilcoxson, Keep Pearland Beautiful, Pearland Parks Board Member
Tree City USA
Pearland again was named a Tree City USA
State Tree Planting Awards
stPlace: Bio Landscape and Maintenance, Jon Richards
2nd Place: Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Jeff Vining
3rdPlace: Lewis Tree Service, Juan Mosqueda
1stPlace: University of Florida-Houston Alumni, Mark Williams and Jeff LaCroix
2ndPlace: Sam Houston State-Houston Alumni, Dr. Susan Lenamon
3rdPlace: Louisiana State University-Houston Alumni, Joe Wesley
1stPlace: MacArthur High School
2ndPlace: Memorial High School Outreach (MOB)
Texas Arbor Day Poster Contest
State Winner: Katherine Simpers, Fredonia Elementary, Nacogdoches
Local Winner: Katie Gyomlai, Jamison Middle School, Pearland
Tree Line USA Utilities
Oncor Electric Delivery
Garland Power and Light
To see all the Arbor Day 2011 photos, visit the Texas Forest Service facebook page.