Dover Intermediate students celebrate trees with planting, poster contest

Dover Intermediate School fifth-graders participate in a tree planting ceremony on April 29. Photo by Tara Wendell

In celebration of Arbor Day, the Westlake City Tree Commission sponsored a poster and essay contest for Dover Intermediate School's fifth-grade students. Essays included information about the importance of trees for the city and its residents. The students' posters were colorful illustrations of the area's trees and the theme “Why Trees are Important to ME”. The posters showed methods of preserving and protecting trees as well as encouraging the planting of new trees for shade, erosion control, animal habitats, wind shelters and beauty.

Posters were judged by the Westlake City Tree Commission members Mary Beth Schneidler, Margie Rossander, John Walz, Diane Morris, Justin Parks, Westlake Urban Forestry Manager Stan Barnard and Westlake City Service Director Paul Quinn.

The poster contest and tree planting are components of Westlake's status as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Being a Tree City USA requires the city to meet criteria to ensure the preservation and protection of trees as well as observing Arbor Day celebrations for the community. This is Westlake's 25th year earning this designation and was the fourth year for the poster contest. All of the fifth-graders who submitted a poster for the contest were invited to the April 29 ceremony and tree planting.

An introduction to the planting and a brief history of Arbor Day was given by Mrs. Schneidler, chairperson of the Westlake Tree Commission and then Mr. Quinn read aloud the school's proclamation from Mayor Dennis Clough in honor of their efforts to recognize the importance to trees in the community. With their principal, David Schindler, all these students helped plant an Ivory Silk Tree Lilac in the school's side yard. The tree was chosen as it will beautify the school grounds with blossoms in the early summer. Students joyfully took turns shoveling dirt around the tree and were also given a white pine sapling to take home for their own yards.

The eight winning entries were submitted by Sophia Fitzpatrick, Michelle Ho, Allie Chang, Kate Mulloy, John Angok, Andrew Huang, Kaitlin Campbell and Ronit Bafna. The contest winners each received a certificate from the mayor proclaiming their designated day of honor in the City of Westlake. They also received green-and-white rosette ribbons from the Tree Commission.

All posters submitted will be on display at the Westlake Recreation Center through May 6. The posters will then be displayed at the Tree City USA awards ceremony to be held at LeCentre on May 10, which the Westlake City Tree Commission is hosting in honor of its 25th anniversary of being designated a Tree City. This awards meeting includes all Northeastern Ohio cities with a Tree City USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation along with many special guests, and features speakers, educational displays and information on the preservation and management of urban forests.

Mary Beth Schneidler contributed to this article.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:47 AM, 05.03.2016