Last Friday, over 200 students at the Saint Paul Parish School gathered to celebrate Arbor Day. They were joined by Mayor Kitty Piercy, Oregon Department of Forestry Lane District Forester Link Smith, City staff, teachers and parent volunteers. Their involvement with Eugene’s urban forest began in February when they planted 37 trees in Ascot Park. Vice Principal Kelly Hughes said the third- through eighth-grade student volunteers got super muddy” and the general sentiment was captured when one happy tree planter exclaimed, “this was the best field trip ever!”
Mayor Piercy accepted Eugene’s 35th consecutive Tree City USA award during the celebration. Afterward, she thanked the students for the gift they had given to the people of Eugene by planting climate-adaptable trees. They planted native Oregon white oaks and white alders, which are well-suited to the dry summers here. Valley oaks, holly oaks, shingle oaks and swamp red oaks, were also planted because of their ability to withstand the wet winters of this area. In addition to the trees the students planted, nearly 600 additional trees have been planted this season to help replace the hundreds of trees lost to snow and ice storms this winter, and to provide stormwater benefits that improve water quality in the city and downriver.
Since 1872, Arbor Day has been celebrated as America's national tree holiday, a day set aside to plant trees, educate children about the importance of trees and honor the role trees play in the lives of people in communities across the country. For more information about Arbor Day, contact City of Eugene Urban Forester Mark Snyder at 541-682-4819 or firstname.lastname@example.org.