Three small shade trees have been planted along the frontage of the Lawrence Township Municipal Complex in celebration of Arbor Day, which was observed April 24.
The trees were planted south of the exit driveway at the municipal building to highlight the township’s commitment to trees and tree planting.
Mayor James Kownacki issued a proclamation in recognition of Arbor Day, which was established as the last Friday in April by the State Legislature in 1949. Arbor Day is the official day to honor trees and the people who take care of them.
Lawrence Township recognizes Arbor Day with tree-related activities every year. Last year, volunteers planted a dozen dawn redwood trees along a segment of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail – a pedestrian and bicycle path – that bisects Maidenhead Meadow Park, which is located on Princeton Pike across the street from Foxcroft Drive.
Maidenhead Meadows Park is the site of a former plant nursery that was abandoned in the early 1980s. Lawrence Boy Scout Troop 27 planted an allee (alley bordered by trees or shrubs) of dawn redwood trees in the park about 10 years ago.
Meanwhile, Kownacki’s proclamation outlined the history of Arbor Day, starting in 1872 when J. Sterling Morton suggested to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for the planting of trees. Morton was a Nebraska newspaper editor and served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland.
“Arbor Day was first observed with the planting of more than one million trees in Nebraska. Arbor Day is now observed throughout the nation and the world,” the proclamation said.
Lawrence Township has been recognized as a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation since 1996. A town achieves Tree City USA status be meeting four core standards of urban forestry management, starting with maintaining a tree committee – in Lawrence’s case, it is the Shade Tree Advisory Committee. A town also must have a community tree ordinance; spend at least $2 per person on urban forestry; and celebrate Arbor Day to become a Tree City USA community.
“It is a pleasure to observe Arbor Day and celebrate the importance of trees,” Municipal Manager Kevin Nerwinski said. “Lawrence Township continues its hard work and dedication to preserve our woods and specimen trees, as well as our environment.”