Arbor Day is a holiday that is all about trees and is an internationally recognized day for the planting of trees with the goal of conservation and forestation. Recently, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and the Village of Mineola did their share in protecting our trees by planting new ones around town.
In front of the steps of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola, Curran recently hosted an official county ceremony to celebrate Arbor Day. Joined by Nassau County Legislators Ellen Birnbaum, Debra Mulé and Denise Ford, as well as members of Nassau County Tree Advisory Board, Curran planted a tree and issued an official proclamation to the citizens of Nassau on behalf of the Arbor Day Foundation.
“Each day as I walk into my office, I pass a majestic statue of Teddy Roosevelt, who used Arbor Day as an opportunity to write to the young people of America about the importance of environmental conservation,” said Curran. “Planting trees cleans our air, beautifies our neighborhoods and preserves the sustainability of our communities. As President Roosevelt wrote, ‘A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as hopeless.’ This Arbor Day, let us all recommit to conserving the rich forestry we are blessed with here in Nassau County.”
The tree, a river birch, was planted in front of the historic Theodore Roosevelt Nassau Executive and Legislature Building and was selected by the Nassau County Department of Works Horticulturist, Richard Arnedos.
The river birch is often found in low-elevation regions as north as Massachusetts to as south as northern Florida and is found along stream-sides. While the river birch’s native habitat is wet ground, it can grow on higher land also and with its distinctive bark, it is a favored ornamental tree for landscape use.
“Not only do trees provide essential environmental benefits that we may take for granted in our daily lives, they can also be a source of calm, beauty and respite in a hectic world,” said Birnbaum. “I was proud to join County Executive Curran in observing Arbor Day and celebrating the many forms of growth that trees symbolize.”
“Our environment is the most important resource we have,” said Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford. “Whether it’s planting trees on Arbor Day or protecting our dunes and coastlines, I am proud to do everything in my power to protect our natural lands for future generations.”
The village board also honored Arbor Day by planting a tree at Memorial Park, which is adjacent to the Mineola Middle School grounds, as part of the village’s annual ceremony.
During the tree planting ceremony, Mayor Scott Strauss noted that the Village of Mineola has once again been named a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation. It is the 34th year that Mineola has received the Tree City designation.
The village is one of more than 3,500 Tree City USAs, with a combined population of 150 million. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters.
Mineola received the recognition by meeting the programs four requirements, which include: a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first-hand,” said president of the Arbor Day Foundation, Dan Lambe. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and sets a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”
—Additional information provided by Nassau County