Arbor Day celebrated in Cedaredge

By Jim Leser

Arbor Day celebrated in Cedaredge | Cedaredge, Arbor Day,

Photo by Pat Sunderland Tree board member John Buerger watches as fifth grade students from Cedaredge Elementary School help plant one of the two large honeylocust trees in High Country Park next to the skate park.

Neither cold, rain nor snow prevented the Cedaredge Tree Board from hosting the town's annual Arbor Day event. Weather did postpone it until a day later to last Wednesday, when the morning conditions were just about ideal.

As has been the custom, Cedaredge Elementary School fifth grade students joined the tree board to read selected poems and short stories about trees and help plant two really nice Imperial Honeylocust trees.

Town administrator Katie Sickles and trustees Dayton Myers and Al Smith joined newly elected mayor Gene Welch as he read this year's Arbor Day proclamation. Tree board chair Jim Leser then engaged the students with questions about the value of trees in our communities. Leser also indicated that Cedaredge had been recognized as a Tree City USA town by the Arbor Day Foundation for the 22nd consecutive year.

Students then lined up to help fill the planting holes of the two trees with soil. As in years past, Grand Junction Valley Grown Nursery provided these very large honeylocust trees at a steeply discounted price. Brett Junus from the Cedaredge Cemetery had earlier used his backhoe tractor to dig the large holes and move the trees from the transport trailer to the holes.

Students named their trees Bob for the north tree and Amber for the south tree. These trees were replacements for the ash trees damaged by vandals last year. The trees are planted in the grassy area to the north of the skate park in High Country Park.

The Cedaredge Tree Board believes that it is important for students to treasure our town's urban forest as they grow in their citizenship. Hopefully we can inspire them to plant and care for trees in their future as responsible citizens.

Before closing the ceremony, Leser thanked all those in attendance, the students, and especially their three teachers, Larry Thompson, Deb Whitney and Kirby Henderson, for their willingness in having their students participate in the town's Arbor Day celebration.