City's Tree Board to Celebrate Arbor Day

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City's Tree Board to Celebrate Arbor Day

Posted: 04/21/2009
The City of Knoxville's Tree Board will celebrate Arbor Day on Friday, April 24, at Ijams Nature Center beginning at 12:30 p.m.

This year's event, dubbed a "Tree-Mendous Day," will feature performances by students from Powell Elementary School, Pleasant Ridge Elementary School and Belle Morris Elementary School. There will also be awards presentations to students who won the Arbor Day Poster contests.

As always the celebration will conclude with a tree planting. This year's tree is a Sweetgum.

Dessa Blair, a longtime community volunteer and Knoxville Tree Board member will preside over the annual celebration that promotes the benefits of trees in our community. 
"The Knoxville Tree Board is constantly working to raise awareness about the importance of trees in our community through youth-oriented activities such as Arbor Day, and also by promoting proactive sustainable strategies for maintaining our city's tree canopy," said Board Chairwoman Kimberly Davis. "People are starting to understand how trees play an important role not only in how our city appears to visitors, but in their contributions through various environmental, economic, and aesthetic attributes that enhance our everyday quality of life." 
Trees are important to the City of Knoxville, they especially add to the character of many of its older and historic neighborhoods, and the Public Service Department's Horticulture Division will plant approximately 350 new trees throughout the city this year according to Public Service Deputy Director David Brace.

Brace said that in addition to adding to the beauty of the community healthy trees reduce energy and noise pollution, provide energy-saving shade and cooling and habitat for wildlife among other features.

Knoxville will also officially receive its latest Tree City USA designation during the ceremony. This marks the 18th year the city has been honored with the designation by the Arbor Day Foundation for Knoxville's dedication to tree planting efforts and community forestry.

In addition to Blair and Brace, others who will take part in the event include Ed Yost, with Ijams Nature Center; Bob Santore, with the Knoxville Tree Board; District Forester Ted Dailey and Tom Simpson, East Tennessee Regional Urban Forester.

The Arbor Day Foundation is dedicated to promoting the value of trees and encouraging people to plant and nurture trees.

The first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska in 1872 at a result of the efforts of its J. Sterling Morton. The idea was so popular that by 1920 nearly every existing state celebrated Arbor Day.

Today Arbor Day is celebrated all 50 states, U.S. Territories and several other nations.

The City of Knoxville's Tree Board - which sponsors our local celebration - is an 11-member citizens committee created in the early 1990s to help develop a master street tree plan for city property. It disseminates information regarding the selection, planting and maintenance of trees and advises City Council about issues relating to the city's tree program.