City, county to host Arbor Day celebration at park

COVINGTON -- The city of Covington and Newton County will host an Arbor Day celebration at 11 a.m. on Friday at Turner Lake Park.

The event will include a welcome and Arbor Day proclamation by Covington Mayor Kim Carter and Board of Commissioners Chairman Kathy Morgan.

A memorial tree presentation by Recreation Commission Director Tommy Hailey in memory of the late Ron Carter.

Also, the Covington Tree Preservation Board will present the Tree Steward Award and local tree planting projects of the past year will be highlighted, and projects in the works for 2010 will be discussed.

Beryl Budd with the Georgia Forestry Commission will be on hand to present Covington with a Tree City USA Award and Snapping Shoals with a Tree Line USA Award.

Arbor Day was started by J. Sterling Morgan in Nebraska in 1872. Morton promoted tree planting across his state and presented the idea of a state tree-planting holiday to the state board of agriculture.

The first Georgia Arbor Day was proclaimed by the Georgia General Assembly in December 1890. In 1941, the General Assembly set the third Friday in February as the day Georgia celebrates Arbor Day.

National Arbor Day is the third Friday in April, but it is too warm at that time of the year to plant trees in Georgia. Trees should be planted between November and mid-March to better their chances of becoming established before the onset of summer heat, according to the Georgia Forestry Commission.

In an effort to educate and encourage Georgians to plant trees and protect the urban tree canopy, the Georgia Urban Forest Council has partnered with the Georgia Forestry Commission to create a new Web site and online community called The Grove. The Web site provides information on planting and caring for trees, the benefit of trees and allows visitors to choose a life event and search for a tree that has an appropriate meaning to celebrate the occasion. To learn more, visit www.georgiagrove.org.