This Arbor Day, the City of Turlock will partner with Walnut Elementary Education Center students to honor the role of trees in the community – and celebrate Walnut's nationwide first-place finish in a tree-centric contest.
“It's kind of a unique partnership this year,” explained Allison Van Guilder, Turlock Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Manager.
Walnut recently took home the gold in the nationwide Scotties' Trees Rock contest. The contest challenged groups of students to produce a video explaining the importance of trees. Ten national finalists were selected from hundreds of submissions.
The winning video, produced by a group of third-grade students, was selected in an online vote. Walnut's success came, in part, due to the efforts of TurlockCityNews.com readers, who turned out in record numbers to vote for the Turlock school.
Scotties, a brand of facial tissues, recognized Walnut's win on March 21 with a concert, tree planting, a speech from an Olympian, and a $10,000 check.
Walnut students will come before the Turlock City Council on the week of Arbor Day to show off their video.
And then, come the big day, students, city staff, and the community will join together to plant trees in the storm basin at the intersection of Walnut Road and Christoffersen Parkway, adjacent to Walnut Elementary Education Center.
"Each year we identify a location in Turlock where we will plant some trees and we will have a brief ceremony to acknowledge the fact that it is Arbor Day," Van Guilder explained.
The event will kick off with Turlock Mayor John Lazar reading a proclamation. A tree planting ceremony will follow.
Turlock has celebrated Arbor Day for the past 22 years. The city has been recognized as a "Tree City USA" for 23 years, an award recognizing a city’s commitment to public trees.
“It’s just a great way to highlight the urban forest that we have here in Turlock,” Van Guilder said.
Turlock's Arbor Day celebration will kick off at 10 a.m. April 25 at the Walnut / Christoffersen Storm Basin.
For more information, call 209-668-5594 ext. 4409.