The city of Marion Tree Board is celebrating 30 years of Marion being designated as a Tree City USA with special events and other educational outreach programs.

Thanks to a $2,500 grant from North Carolina Urban and Community Forestry, the Tree Board will expand Arbor Day events in April at Marion Elementary School and Eastfield Global Magnet School in honor of their anniversary. Kids at both schools will not only take part in a tree planting ceremony, but they’ll also receive a t-shirt  that will help them remember the occasion.

Grant funds will also allow the board to hold a photo and poster contest that will highlight the importance of trees during the year-long celebration, create educational tree signage featuring tree species, leaf etchings and QR codes along the Joseph McDowell Historic Greenway, and host an educational exhibit at this year’s Mountain Glory Festival in October. Details about these contests and events will be announced at a later date.

The City received the Tree City USA designation starting in 1989 when the advisory board and City Tree Program were created by City Council after a presentation by the North Carolina Forest Service about the importance of street trees.

Council-appointed tree committee members work with City staff, the City’s contracted Arborist and the North Carolina Forest Service to coordinate the City Tree Program, which focuses on planting and protecting trees on public property and rights of way in the City, coordinating special events and advising the City on matters involving trees and beautification.

For more information about the City of Marion Tree Program and Tree Board, please contact City Hall at 652-3551.

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