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Fests planned to celebrate Arbor Day

COVINGTON -- Several Arbor Day events are planned throughout the county this year, starting with the city of Covington's celebration on Friday.

Covington

Arbor Day will be celebrated in the city of Covington at 11 a.m., Friday at Covington Woman's Club, located at 1122 College Street.

Mayor Ronnie Johnston and Board of Commissioners Chairman Keith Ellis will provide welcoming remarks, and Gene Callaway, senior arborist for Fulton County, will speak on the importance of a healthy canopy.

City of Covington Tree Steward Award will be presented to Covington First Presbyterian Church and the Tree City USA Award will be presented to the city of Covington by Joan Scales with the Georgia Forestry Commission

Oxford

The city of Oxford will celebrate Arbor Day with from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Oxford City Hall, located at 110 West Clark St.

City Manager Bob Schwartz said the majority of the program will take place inside City Hall, but there will be a tree planting and demonstration outside.

Schwartz said "any citizen in Oxford who's interested in trees" will enjoy the event, but then noted "that's redundant because every citizen in Oxford is interested in trees."

The program will focus on maintaining trees and a free tree owner's manual will be handed to the first 100 people who arrive. There will also be a demonstration by Rob Swanson of Specimen Tree LLC on how to get oxygen to trees with constricted roots.

Cousins Middle School students will participate in the program and refreshments will be served.

Newborn

The town of Newborn's Arbor Day event takes place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Town Park at the corner of Ga. Hwy. 142 and Spring Street, next to Town Hall. Parking is available in the field behind Town Hall.

Free seedlings will be handed out, including Dogwood, Northern Red Oak, Crape Myrtle and Redbud, provided by the Covington Service Guild and Town of Newborn.

Both adults and children can practice tree climbing with the help of Arbor Equity Inc., which provides a safe climbing adventure with ropes and harnesses. Smokey the Bear will also be on hand, and tree care brochures will be available.

A free hot dog lunch will be provided by Blackwell Grocery in Mansfield.

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.