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Arbor Day celebrated locally
Abby, Maya and Sophia, daughters of Donna Martin, help water trees planted by Gateway Streetscape Foundation on Arbor Day. The foundation celebrated its sixth year as one of 51 Tree CIty USA designations with a Tree City USA/Fall Arbor Day Celebration on Saturday. (Contributed photo)
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
About 25 people came out to the Tree City USA/Fall Arbor Day Celebration on Saturday at the Farmer’s Market in Martinsville, where two Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ or ‘Coral Bark Maples’ were planted.
Martinsville celebrated Arbor Day and its sixth year as a Tree City USA. Martinsville is one of 51 Tree City USA designations in the Virginia: 40 cities, three counties and eight towns, according to Lizz Stanley, executive director of Gateway Streetscape Foundation. The foundation sponsored the event.
Martinsville maintains its Tree City USA status each year by meeting four standards set by the Arbor Day Foundation: spend $2 per capita on new tree plantings and on maintenance of existing trees, have an active tree board, have a tree ordinance, and hold an Arbor Day Observance and publicly read a City of Martinsville Arbor Day Proclamation, according to Stanley.
The Coral Bark Maples were chosen because they are small, ornamental trees that fit the space well and were also the same trees that were planted in the pots located in the courthouse square in uptown Martinsville, she said.
The event’s purpose was to relay the importance of planting trees to those in attendance, Stanley said.
Trees are renewable resources, increase property values, enhance economic vitality of business areas, beautify the community, reduce erosion, lower heating and cooling costs, clean the air and provide habitat for wildlife, she said.
The event “is a teaching tool” for making people aware of the need for trees because “without them (trees), we would not have oxygen to breathe,” she said.
The foundation wants to “show people good horticulture and landscape design practices in the things that we do,” she said. “If we set a good example, then other people in the community will follow that.”
The Farmer’s Market was chosen as the area to plant the new trees because Gateway Streetscape Foundation wants to dress the area up more before the New College Institute facility takes shape across the street in the Baldwin Block, she said.
The more attractive the area is, the more “we can ensure the area’s success,” Stanley said.
The new trees give the Farmer’s Market area “a new, fresh look,” she said. The project is only phase one of making the market area more attractive and colorful; the foundation hopes to plant perennials next spring at the Farmer’s Market, she added.
The Gateway Streetscape Foundation wants to make the city as “attractive as we can possibly make it,” Stanley said.
In attendance on Saturday were Mayor Kim Adkins, Councilman Gene Teague, Councilman Danny Turner, Councilman Mark Stroud, Department of Forestry State Forester Kevin Keith, City of Martinsville Community Planner Wayne Knox, Gateway Board member Kathy Lawson and her husband Ralph Lawson, Gateway Board member Carolyn Beale, George Clark, Martinsville Farmer’s Market Manager Dean Cline, Gateway Landscaper Donna Martin, Stanley, and others who came out to take part in the event.