After being given white pine seedlings to take home and plant, Gabe Bloss and Rylan Koster compare trees and talk about where to plant them. (Photo by Virginia Ransbottom)

Allegan's Arbor Day plants seeds for future

Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

For the City of Allegan’s Arbor Day celebration on Friday, May, 4, at Jaycee Park, fifth graders from Dawson Elementary School were joined by not only the parks and public works departments, but also the mayor, police and state rep. Mary Whiteford.

Laurie Courtney, who is often seen watering plants downtown, greeted students and gave introductions. Aaron Haskin, director of public works was to lead the Pledge of Allegiance with Smokey Bear; however, with three forest fires raging up north, Haskin said Smokey was too busy to attend.

Arbor Day poster contest winner Zayne Allen, 11, stepped in to help Haskin with the Pledge. Mayor Stacie Stotmeister read a proclamation declaring the first Friday in May as Arbor Day. She said it was Allegan’s 32nd year as a Tree City USA and listed all the community benefits trees have to offer. Haskin also stressed the importance of planting the right trees in the right place and never under power lines.

Allegan Conservation District executive director Tori Harris gave the tree planting demonstration of a “Marmo’ Freeman Maple” to be planted near the dog park.

“It’s important to research trees to make sure they are getting the soil the trees like,” she said.

The Marmo tree is a hybrid between Silver Maple and Red Maple and enjoys moist soil. It will eventually provide great shade in the summer and great color in the fall.

Each student was then given a seedling of Michigan’s state tree—the white pine—to take home and plant. The pines will grow three feet a year and after 100 years, could be as tall as 200 feet, Haskin said.


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