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Arbor Day Celebration Friday

Post Date:11/14/2019 3:29 PM

The Town of Chapel Hill’s annual Arbor Day celebration will be held at Ephesus Elementary School, 1495 Ephesus Church Road, at 11:15 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15.

Due to weather, the celebration has moved indoors to the atrium at the school’s main entrance.

Third grade students from Ephesus Elementary will recite a poem about a tree in several different languages: English, French, Spanish, and hopefully Chinese, Arabic, and Russian. The plan is to plant a white oak in Ephesus Park.

Mayor Pam Hemminger will read the Arbor Day Proclamation and accept the Tree City USA Award from the North Carolina Forest Service’s Orange County Office.

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.  Chapel Hill, however, chooses to celebrate in November – a time that allows new tree roots to become better established and ready for our warm, drier summers.   

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.

Learn more ways OUR COMMUNITY CELEBRATES TREES including

  • Arbor Week 2019
  • Mayor’s Tree of the Year
  • 200 Trees for 200 Years


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