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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Arbor Day Celebration at Ijams Nature Center Apr. 29
City Tree Board
April 28, 2011 - It will be another "Tree-Mendous Day" in Knoxville Friday as the City of Knoxville's Tree Board hosts its annual Arbor Day celebration at Ijams Nature Center.

The event is set for 12:30 p.m. at the park in South Knoxville and will feature performances by students from Chilhowee Intermediate School and Sacred Heart Cathedral School. It's one of hundreds of similar ceremonies going on across the United States on Friday as part of the National Arbor Day Celebration.

The celebration which will also feature the presentation of awards to students winning the Knoxville Tree Board's Arbor Day Poster Contest and the presentation of Tree City USA award to the City of Knoxville.

The winners of this year's poster contest and their teachers are listed below:

  • Gabriela Varela - Green Magnet School, JoAnn Gusta, Teacher
  • Kim Garvey - Christian Academy of Knoxville, Donna Barton, Teacher
  • Austin Martinez - Farragut Intermediate School, Angie Riner, Teacher

    Ms. Dessa Blair, a former teacher, longtime community volunteer and Knoxville Tree Board member emeritus and current Arbor Day Committee chair will preside over the celebration which promotes the benefits of trees in our community. Others taking part in the program include Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett; David Brace, deputy director of the City of Knoxville Public Service Department; David Vandergriff, chairman of the city's Tree Board and Paul James, executive director of Ijams Nature Center.

    This marks the 20th consecutive year that Knoxville has received the Tree City USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation. The designation is based on the city's commitment to community forestry including its efforts to maintain and expand its urban canopy.

    "The city has received this honor every year since 1992 in recognition of our commitment to maintain, improve and expand our canopy," Brace said. "This one is special because it's the 20th one, but we never take any of the Tree City USA awards for granted. We'll always practice good urban forestry and it means a lot to us to be recognized for it."

    Trees enhance the urban environment and add character, particularly to older historic neighborhoods and the city plants approximately 350 new trees on public property throughout the city each year.

    The Arbor Day Foundation is dedicated to promoting the value of trees and encourages people to plant and nurture trees. The first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska in 1872 and today is celebrated all 50 states and U.S. Territories as well as in several other nations.

    The City of Knoxville's Tree Board was created in the early 1990s to help develop a master street tree plan for city property. It disseminates information regarding the selection, planting and maintenance of trees and advises City Council about issues relating to the city's tree program.

    More information about the City Tree Board and its activities is available at www.cityofknoxville.org/boards/treeboard.
  • For Immediate Release
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