Arbor Day celebrated at schools

Published 9:48 am Friday, February 15, 2013

REPRESENTATIVES from each organization gather at the flag pole, ready to hoist the Tree City Arbor Day flag.

Students at West Bainbridge Elementary School had an opportunity to learn about the planting and care of trees Friday morning, Feb. 15, at a community observance of Arbor Day.

In a brief ceremony held in the school auditorium, school principal Allyson Matthews welcomed everyone and explained how each year the school is required to do a needs assessment and each year the response is, “We need trees.”

This year they received trees, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Georgia Forestry Commission, Decatur County Cooperative Extension Service, Keep Decatur County Beautiful, the City of Bainbridge, and the Decatur County School System. Karri Parramore, West Bainbridge Elementary teacher and a Keep America Beautiful representative, introduced the guests, who were represented each entity.

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A proclamation marking Feb. 15, 2013, as “Arbor Day,” and signed by Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds, was read.

The Georgia Forestry Commission’s Rodney Heard and Tina Nix presented the school with a Tree City USA Arbor Day flag, which was later raised on the school flag pole along with the U.S. flag.

Other comments were made by KDCB executive director Suzanne Brandt, Decatur County Extension Coordinator Mitchell May and Decatur County School Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield.

Following the ceremony, the 568 students made an orderly exit to the prepared sites for the planting of their class trees.

Each of the six grades has a tree of their own, identified with a small sign. The students, divided into classes, gathered round each site as their tree was placed in the ground.

Varieties planted were two red maples, a cherry bark oak, a live oak, a green ash and a wax myrtle.