Commitment to preserving trees

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Lawrence Township recognized as Tree City USA for 2022

Lawrence Township’s dedication to take care of its trees has earned it the Arbor Day Foundation’s Growth Award, in addition to recognition as a Tree City USA for 2022.

This is the 27th consecutive year that the township has been recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, Municipal Manager Kevin Nerwinski said.

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“Achieving recognition as a Tree City USA affirms our longstanding policy and commitment to preserving trees in our community,” Nerwinski said.

“It also keeps us focused on making Lawrence Township a beautiful place to live and work,” he said.

A town earns Tree City USA certification by meeting four core standards of urban forestry management: maintaining a tree committee; having a community tree ordinance; spending at least $2 per person on urban forestry; and celebrating Arbor Day.

Lawrence Township earned the Arbor Day Foundation’s Growth Award for demonstrating environmental improvement and for an outstanding level of tree care, Nerwinski said.

Last year, the Lawrence Township Council hired the Davey Resource Group to carry out a tree inventory in the southern part of the township. The study located trees, planting sites and tree stumps within the municipal right-of-way and it will be used to help plan where to plant new trees.

Lawrence Township planted three small trees along the frontage of the Lawrence Township Municipal Complex on Route 206/Lawrenceville Road in honor of Arbor Day in 2020.

In 2019, volunteers planted 12 dawn redwood trees along a segment of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail – a pedestrian and bicycle path – that bisects Maidenhead Meadow Park. The park is located on Princeton Pike, across 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 two rows of dawn redwood trees in the park about 12 years ago.

Meanwhile, Mayor John T. Ryan issued a proclamation to declare April 28 as Arbor Day in Lawrence Township. Arbor Day was established as the last Friday in April by the State Legislature in 1949.

The proclamation outlined the history of Arbor Day. It began in 1872 when J. Sterling Morton suggested to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day should 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,” according to the proclamation.

Trees can reduce soil erosion; cut heating and cooling costs; moderate the temperature; clean the air; produce oxygen and provide habitat for wildlife, the proclamation said.

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