Mesa has designated this Friday, April 28, as Arbor Day to celebrate the city’s commitment to tree care and planting programs. In honor of the nationally-celebrated observance, Mayor John Giles has issued an Arbor Day Proclamation. This year the Arizona Community Tree Council (ACTC) members were invited to the mayor’s office to witness the signing of the proclamation. ACTC is a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is education and community building for the proper planting and care of trees in Arizona.
“Arbor Day promotes how trees in Mesa help clean the air and water, conserve soil, and reduce heating and cooling costs by moderating temperatures,” Environmental and Sustainability Deputy Director Laura Hyneman said. “Celebrating Arbor Day shows that our community values trees not only for their beauty but for their numerous health and environmental benefits as well.”
On April 28, the city is deploying staff and community volunteers to read “The Lorax,” by Dr. Seuss, to third grade classes in 24 classrooms at Mesa Public Schools. Blue Palo Verde seed packets (our Arizona State Tree) will also be distributed to the students as part of a planting curriculum. “The Lorax,” first published in 1971, chronicles the plight of the Lorax who speaks for the trees against the greedy Once-ler. It has become a popular metaphor for those concerned about the human impact on the environment.
The public is also encouraged to attend a free tree care workshop and tree planting taking place on Saturday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Mesa Red Mountain Library, 635 N. Power Road. Participants can learn about proper tree selection, placement, watering, pruning and more. Immediately after the presentation, an instructional tree planting will take place on the library grounds.
For the seventh consecutive year, Mesa has been named a Tree City USA Community by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to community forestry. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
Founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, Arbor Day is celebrated annually on the last Friday in April. Residents can learn more about Arbor Day, the free workshop, and how to properly select, plant and maintain their trees by visiting www.mesaaz.gov/sustainability.