Arbor Day 2016
April 25 at 12:30pm
Ridgeview Park Woodland Shelter
The Waynesboro Department of Parks and Recreation hosted an Arbor Day program at Ridgeview Park on April 25, 2016. The first grade class, about eighty students in all, from the nearby Westwood Hills Elementary School came out for the afternoon to learn a bit about trees, their function and their contributions. In order to keep the kids excited with a variety of activities, Parks and Recreation enlisted the help of the Department of Forestry and a local tree company, Williams Brothers’ Lawn and Tree Service. The day could not have been better- the students, teachers, and other onlookers all enjoyed themselves and walked away knowing a little bit more about trees.
The day began with the planting of the Arbor Day Tree. A beautiful Kwanzan Cherry tree was planted in the mulch bed behind the Woodland Shelter. During the planting, the general characteristics of this tree species were discussed hinting at the ‘right tree, right location’ concept. Kids interacted with Parks and Recreation staff by helping shovel dirt into the hole and answering general questions about tree structure and the functions of its parts.
For the rest of the afternoon the students were divided up into four groups to rotate between 15 minute programs led by Parks and Recreation, Williams Brothers’ Tree and Lawn Service and the Department of Forestry. The Williams Brothers’ brought their tree climbing gear and showed the little ones how they climb and prune trees and how they do it safely. The Department of Forestry’s Patti Nylander talked to the children about the importance of trees and how to plant the sapling each child received. Parks and Recreation had the most fun of all with the kids making Sticky Pinecone Birdfeeders. Kids got messy as they learned about how birds and other animals rely on trees for food and shelter. The kids also had time to express their creativity with “Trees Are Good” coloring and activities books.
The Kwanzan Cherry is a deciduous tree which grows 15 to 25 feet tall, and produces large quantities of attractive double pink flowers in spring. In autumn the glossy green leaves turn a brilliant yellow-orange. The Kwanzan’s beautiful spring flowers, striking fall color and small size make it an excellent selection for ornamental gardens and small yards.