City of Turlock employees and Mayor Gary Soiseth joined students from Brown Elementary School’s ASES After School program to plant nine new trees at the school in celebration of Arbor Day and Earth Day on April 22.
“We’re very, very excited to celebrate Arbor Day, as well as Earth Day,” said Allison Van Guilder, Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities Director for the City of Turlock.
While last year’s Arbor Day was absent of students due to rainy weather and Spring Break, this year’s celebration brought droves of students eager to get their hands dirty and plant some trees that that will likely stand until after their future kids attended Brown Elementary School.
The City of Turlock has been celebrating Arbor Day for 24 years, although Arbor Day dates back much further. Julius Sterling Morton supported the planting of trees not only as a farmer and pioneer, but also to help his community and its environment. Morton worked as a journalist, while a resident of Nebraska, and often promoted trees in his editorials and later, as secretary of Nebraska, founded Arbor Day. The first Arbor Day in 1872 saw approximately one million trees planted.
Mayor Soiseth shared the importance of trees, not only for the fruit and nut bearing aspect, but also the importance within City of Turlock.
“Who here has a tree in front yard? If you don’t, you’re out of compliance with the City of Turlock and we’ll have some people come talk to you,” joked Soiseth.
After the history lesson, and showing off their impressive knowledge by answering any question the mayor could throw at them, the students were ready to dig in and plant their new trees.
In total, nine new trees were planted, including several sycamores and some crape myrtles, which are drought tolerant.