100 Medina third-graders help celebrate Arbor Day with tree plantings

Photos courtesy of Chris Busch: Medina Mayor Mike Sidari reads a proclamation about Arbor Day to third-graders from Medina.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 April 2022 at 3:53 pm

MEDINA – Medina’s Tree Board and third-graders from Wise Middle School participated in a ceremony this morning to celebrate Arbor Day.

This marks the 15th year of celebrating Medina as an official Tree City USA.

This year’s ceremonial trees were planted on Frank Street, between West Avenue and South Main Street. Participating in the ceremony, in addition to the third-grade students, were Kathy Blackburn, Lisa Tombari and Chris Busch, members of the Medina Tree Board; and Mayor Mike Sidari.

About 100 third-graders and their teachers attended tree planting ceremony on Frank Street this morning to celebrate Arbor Day.

Blackburn led the ceremony by explaining Arbor Day, which started in Spain more than 400 years ago.

Arbor Day became an official holiday in the United States in 1907, when President Theodore Roosevelt issued a proclamation stating the importance of trees.

Sidari then read a proclamation from the Village and told the children the first Arbor Day was celebrated with the planting of more than one million trees.

The 95 children, who were accompanied by their teachers and principal Chris Hughes, were tested on their knowledge of trees by Blackburn and Tombari, who asked students to answer questions about trees. Students shared their knowledge, saying trees provide many benefits, including homes for birds, shade for people, fruit, maple syrup and clean air.

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Kathy Blackburn, right, a member of Medina’s Tree Board, watches as third-grade students take turns in a ceremonial tree planting in honor of Arbor Day on Friday morning. Third-grade students from Wise Middle School gathered around a Tree City USA flag during a tree planting celebration Friday morning on Frank Street.

Blackburn told the students the story of Johnny Appleseed, then she and Tombari handed out coloring pages and activity sheets to the students. Arbor Day posters were also given to the teachers.

Students were then given the opportunity to step up and shovel dirt around the trees which had already been put in place by the village’s Department of Public Works. Most students said they had never planted a tree before.

Blackburn said the village typically plants 20 to 25 trees a year, but thanks to donations from ReLeaf Medina, they are able to plant 51 this year. South Avenue has been planted with most of them, with Friday morning’s trees being planted on Frank Street.

“We hope ReLeaf Medina can once again get enough donations to plant at least another 50 trees next year,” Blackburn said.

Varieties planted Friday morning included Celebration Maple, Japanese Zelkova and Princeton Elm. The village has done its research to determine what varieties will thrive best in certain areas, Busch said.

Other members of the Medina Tree Board are Bob Sanderson, Mary Lewis and Jake Hebdon.

Third-grade students from Wise Middle School hold an Arbor Day poster presented to their teachers during a ceremony Friday morning which featured tree plantings on Frank Street.