Chapel Hill Celebrates Arbor Day on Nov. 17
The Town of Chapel Hill’s annual Arbor Day celebration will be held at 11:15 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17, at Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in the parking lot on the corner of Columbia and Stevens streets.
Suzie Roth’s third grade class from Northside Elementary School will participate and do a presentation of The Giving Tree.
Mayor Pam Hemminger will read the Arbor Day Proclamation and accept the 2016 Tree City USA Award from the County Assistant Forest Ranger of the North Carolina Forest Service’s Orange County Office. 2016 was Chapel Hill’s 18th consecutive year as a Tree City.
To be named a Tree City, a town or city must meet four core standards set by the National Arbor Day Foundation: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrating Arbor Day.
The first Arbor Day in the United States took place in April 1872 in Nebraska where it is said that an estimated one million trees were planted. Each state now chooses its own date on which to observe the holiday. North Carolina celebrates on the first Friday following March 15, but Chapel Hill doesn’t follow the rest of the state.
Arbor Day was set by the Chapel Hill Town Council in 2000 as the first Friday after Nov. 15. Each year the Town celebrates trees at its Arbor Day ceremony by planting one or more trees at a Town-owned facility such as a park or entryway. Last year a Red Maple tree was planted in Southern Community Park.
Chapel Hill contains a diversity and abundance of trees. Its residents have had a long love affair with trees dating back to 1889, when cutting down a tree in town was punishable as a misdemeanor and carried a $20 fine.