MIDWAY COMMUNITY — Fourth-graders Amalia Parker and Chloe Boyette enjoyed sharing knowledge about the importance of trees with the help of her fellow classmates.
“Trees color our world,” Amalia said. “Trees filter pollution from the air.”
“Without trees there would be no life on this planet,” Chloe added while naming the most important reason.
A moment later, they made their own contribution to the world with help from the Just-A-Mere Garden Club. The students from Midway Elementary School celebrated Arbor Day Thursday by planting a knockout rose topiary to celebrate Arbor Day with the assistance of the club and James Raynor, who oversees maintenance at the school. Before the planting, Just-A-Mere member Beverly Best planted a banana peel into the ground. It will help provide nutrients and potassium.
Arbor Day is dedicated annually to public tree-planting in the United States and countries throughout the world. In North Carolina, Arbor Day was officially observed Friday, March 18.
“They’re vital to life,” Best said. “We have to have them. If they learn about that, they’ll learn the importance of them.”
For Best, 2016 became her first year in the Just-A-Mere Garden Club. Several of her family members have been involved with the club for many years.
“I’m glad to be in it for the first time,” West said. “I love the sense of community that it gives. I think all the ladies are just precious. I just really enjoy spending time with them.”
Martha Turner, a member of the club’s School Gardens Committee, was one of many Just-A-Mere members present.
“We’ve just enjoyed coming to the schools for all these years,” Turner said about making a trip to Midway Elementary School and other school locations in the community.
Turner said events such as Arbor Day allows students to learn how important trees are for the environment.
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the first Arbor Day in the United States was held in Nebraska through the work of J. Sterling Morton in 1872. During that day, an estimated 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska. In 1972, 100 years later, the foundation was formed to carry on the mission of the purpose. Since then, Arbor Day grew and accomplishments of the organization swelled. Through a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, the 50 millionth Arbor Day Foundation tree was planted.
Throughout the state, the observance takes place on the first Friday following March 15. In 1967, the state legislature ratified a bill for Arbor Day. It partially states, ““Whereas, it is desirable that the planting of seedlings and flowering shrubs be encouraged to promote the beautification and conservation of the vast and varied resources of North Carolina, and whereas the designation of a particular day each year as Arbor Day would encourage and draw attention to a concerted effort by North Carolinians to beautify and conserve the state’s resources by planting young trees and shrubs.”
Fourth-grade teacher Allison Best and other educators have enjoyed everything the Just-A-Mere Garden Club has done to help beautify the school. Some of the past projects include a tulip tree and another knockout rose topiary. The rose recently planted was donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement of Clinton.
“As far back as I can remember they’ve always kind of beautified our school,” Best said. “Every year, we enjoy watching these trees bloom. We truly enjoy it and we’re thankful for the work that they do. It helps us feel a little happier when we come in and see these beautiful plants blooming.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.