Governor Bill Haslam has proclaimed March 1 as Arbor Day in Tennessee to recognize the importance of trees to the state. This year’s state celebration will be held in Knoxville, which has been designated a Tree City USA community for 22 years.
“Arbor Day is important for reminding us how every community, regardless of size, benefits environmentally and economically from trees,” Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “We’re committed to improving and protecting our forest resources, both in rural and urban areas and are proud to join the city of Knoxville and their tree board to recognize Arbor Day.”
The Arbor Day celebration, hosted by the City of Knoxville Tree Board and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, will take place March 1, at 10 a.m. EST at Ijams Nature Center. Knoxville earned the honor of hosting this year’s state Arbor Day celebration by being recognized as the state’s Tree Board of the Year in 2012. Proclamations will be presented by state and local officials, an Arbor Day skit will be performed by local elementary school students and refreshments will be served after the program.
Citizens can also show their support for Arbor Day by visiting local retail nurseries and garden centers for Tennessee grown trees. Selecting locally grown trees not only add value to your home but help ensure success with a quality product that is already acclimated to Tennessee’s growing conditions. A list of nurseries and garden centers with locally-grown trees is available at www.picktnproducts.org.
Arbor Day is a national observance, which is recognized at different times based on a region’s ideal conditions and climate for tree planting and care. Arbor Day in Tennessee is always recognized the first Friday in March.
TDA’s Division of Forestry works to protect and enhance forests that cover 14 million acres and provide more than 60,000 jobs. Forests also help promote clean water, wildlife habitat and recreation. Last year, TDA awarded more than $97,000 in Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program grants for 14 urban tree projects statewide.
More information on the Division of Forestry and Arbor Day can be found at www.TN.gov/agriculture/forestry or www.arborday.org.