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Arbor Day celebration to be held Friday

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

COVINGTON -- Residents of Covington and Newton County are invited to celebrate Arbor Day at an 11 a.m. ceremony Friday at Turner Lake Complex, located at 6185 Turner Lake Road.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Kathy Morgan and Covington Mayor Kim Carter will make remarks, followed by the presentation of the Tree Steward Award to Newton Medical Center by the Covington Tree Preservation Board for planting and maintaining trees and landscaping on new development, said Debbie Bell, the county's landscape architect. Also, the Georgia Forestry Commission will present the city of Covington's 19th consecutive Tree City USA Award.

Participants will also have the opportunity to view Swamp Chesnut Oaks planted in memory of three late civic leaders -- Otis Spillers, Eddie Phillips and Carl Smith -- at Turner Lake and hear about trees planted in honor of former library director Greg Heid and former Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful director Connie Waller.

Snapping Shoals EMC will be recognized with the Tree Line Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation for managing trees with sensitivity and sponsoring a program to replant trees away from utility lines, Bell said.

Light refreshments will follow the ceremony.

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.