With Arbor Day officially arriving this Friday, April 29th, the Arbor Day Foundation made their annual announcement of all the cities that met their criteria to receive their Tree City USA designation, and once again, Kent made the list.
I still recall as a kid having a warm place in my heart for Arbor Day — heck ya, it mean’t getting out of class and digging in the dirt for an hour or so on a nice spring day, and being given a twig with a couple of roots dangling off the bottom to plant at home. Sunshine, dirt, and presents — at 8 years old that’s priceless.
I suppose those early recollections from my impressionable years shaped (or distorted?) my personality to the point where I still get warm fuzzy feelings for Arbor Day. It’s actually one of the few remaining holidays that has not fallen victim to a hostile takeover by the greeting card companies and candy manufacturers.
It’s really not all that different from what it was 30 years ago; it’s kids digging in the dirt, planting a few twigs and celebrating trees. Some things are too good to go out of style and honoring trees (or at least getting out of the classroom) is one of them.
Of course, with Davey Tree founded and headquartered in Kent, Arbor Day has even more local significance. The Davey family legacy in Kent is more than the company they founded, it’s also a deep appreciation for caring for trees and everything green. Davey’s leafprints can be found all over town and environmental stewardship runs deep in Kent’s DNA.
For 25 consecutive years Kent has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA — a recognition that is bestowed on those cities that demonstrate (in dollars, staff time, and tree care commitment) a priority for sustainable urban forestry.
The popularity of the green movement over the last decade has led many cities to jump on board the green train and now thousands of cities receive the Tree City designation every year — but Kent sticks to it’s tag line of being the original tree city, and shows it off a bit each Arbor Day.