Medina celebrates Arbor Day with tree-planting at Gwinn Street Park

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 1 May 2021 at 7:54 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Kathy Blackburn, left, president of the Medina Tree Board, shows third-grader Elizabeth Dresser, with the little shovel at right, how to throw the first shovel of dirt around the tree being planted in front of Gwinn Street Park.

MEDINA – Students in the third grade at Oak Orchard Elementary School got to learn first-hand how to plant a tree and the benefits of trees, during a special presentation Friday morning in Gwinn Street Park.

Planting trees in the park and along Gwinn Street has been a long-time project of the village and its Tree Board. This year they hope to achieve that goal.

On Friday morning, Mayor Mike Sidari and Tree Board members Kathy Blackburn, Bob Sanderson and Jake Hebdon created a special presentation for third-graders at Oak Orchard Elementary School.

Sidari read a proclamation from the village declaring Medina an official Tree City, USA.

The event celebrated Arbor Day, which was first established in 1872 by the Nebraska Board of Agriculture as a day to plant trees.

Arbor Day is now observed throughout the nation and the world.

The mayor read how trees are beneficial by combating climate change by reducing erosion of topsoil by wind and water; cutting heating and cooling costs; moderating the temperature; cleaning the air; producing life-giving oxygen and providing a habitat for wildlife. He added trees are a renewable resource, giving us paper, wood for our homes, fuel for our fires and countless other wood products.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari reads a proclamation on Arbor Day to third graders at Oak Orchard Elementary School on Friday morning, during a ceremony at Gwinn Street Park organized by Medina’s Tree Board.

Sidari added that trees in a community increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas and beautify the area.

Trees, wherever they are planted, are a source of joy and spiritual renewal, he added.

He hereby proclaimed April 30 as Arbor Day in the city of Medina and urged all citizens to support efforts to protect the trees and woodlands, and to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the well-being of this and future generations.

After his proclamation, Tree Board members conducted a little exercise with students, asking them questions about trees.

In a special presentation, Tree Board members were given a plaque of a tree made by the third graders, in which they created a tree by using their thumbs to make the leaves.

The ceremony concluded by Elizabeth Dresser throwing in the first shovel of dirt around a tree which the village was planting in front of the park.

Third-grade students at Oak Orchard Elementary School created a special painting for Medina’s Tree Board, by making a tree, using their thumbs to make leaves. Presenting it to Tree Board members Kathy Blackburn, Bob Sanderson and Jake Hebdon are, at left, Julie Webber, principal; Katie Toub, third-grade teacher; and students Kaia Hamilton, Hendrix Jones and Philip Shannon.