EAST Students Celebrate Dardanelle’s Arbor Day/Earth Day


EAST Students Celebrate Dardanelle’s Arbor Day/Earth Day
8/15/2013 4:58:47 PM

Dardanelle EAST students instrumental in celebrating Arbor Day/ Earth Day — from planting trees, to building bluebird houses to promotion of the celebration and establishing new recycling projects.

To celebrate Dardanelle’s Arbor Day/Earth Day on April 22, Dardanelle High School EAST students Thomas, Dylan, Landon, Justin, Taylor and Chloe planted a native tulip tree at Council Oaks City Park. The students, along with the Dardanelle Tree Advisory Board, also assisted Dardanelle Elementary School students in planting two redbud trees in front of their school, and passed out pine tree seedlings donated by Donald Mobley of Clarksville at both schools.

“Dardanelle is all about trees,” said Mayor Carolyn McGee, who delivered a proclamation as part of the day’s activities. EAST students Thomas, Dylan, Landon, and Justin presented Mayor McGee with a bird house from their bluebird house project. The students were awarded a $1,000 WalMart grant to purchase supplies for use in conservation projects at the school.

In April 1820, acting Arkansas Gov. Robert Crittenden and Black Fox of the Cherokee Nation signed a treaty under an oak tree in Dardanelle, bringing peace between the white man and the Osage, Cherokee and Quapaw tribes, said Wayne Shewmake, a member of the Dardanelle Tree Advisory Board.

The historic tree, now known as “The Council Oak,” still stands in the eponymous park on North Front Street in Dardanelle. It’s one of many notable trees in Dardanelle that prompted residents to apply for Tree City status through the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program.

To become a Tree City, Shewmake said “a city has to fulfill requirements set by the National Arbor Foundation, which sponsors the Tree City USA program in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.” The requirements include a tree advisory board, a community tree ordinance and a community forestry program, all of which Dardanelle has fulfilled. Observing Arbor Day was the only requirement left to gain recognition as the 48th Tree City in Arkansas. The Dardanelle Tree Advisory Board as well as the Dardanelle Garden Club, the Yell County Wildlife Federation and other organizations were all instrumental in this process, Shewmake added.

Signs have been placed on approaches to Dardanelle acknowledging the city as a “Tree City USA”.

During the 2008-09 school years, EAST students assisted the advisory council with the measuring and location of the notable trees in Dardanelle. The city has one nationally recognized record tree and three state recognized record trees — more than most cities in Arkansas.

For the day of celebration, Terry Laughinghouse, elementary school principal, said that “the school children will name the trees planted, to show ownership, and care for them.” Over 650 elementary children came out to observe the tree-planting in front of their school.

Sandy Williams, EAST facilitator at Dardanelle High School for eight years, said that “both observing Arbor Day and becoming a Tree City are important for Dardanelle. Honestly, I just think that if our children can appreciate our Earth, and can appreciate our environment — that extends from understanding Arbor Day — we have done something wonderful for them,” Williams said.

EAST students Yer and Ashlyn publicized Earth Day/Arbor Day by creating promotional posters for the hallways of the high school, along with a brochure about “10 Ways to Save the Earth”. Taylor and Chloe began an e-recycling program for the months of March and April by working with Sudden Link to collect old electronics to be properly recycled

Partially subscribed from Arkansas Out-of-Doors March/April 2010 with permission from Wayne Shewmake, President of AWF.




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