Westlake Tree Commission hosts annual Arbor Day planting
Friday, April 27, was a beautiful day at Dover Intermediate School in Westlake to hold the annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony. Mayor Dennis Clough, Westlake Service Director Paul Quinn III, Urban Forestry Manager Stan Barnard and members of the Westlake Service Department were there to assist with the planting of an October Glory red maple tree in front of the school.
Several weeks prior to the ceremony, all fifth-grade students were invited to submit a poster explaining “Why trees are important to me!” At that time Mary Beth Schneidler, chairwoman of the Westlake Tree Commission, spoke to the students about Arbor Day, the importance of trees and to explain the contest; 117 members of the class designed a poster to enter in the annual contest! The posters were then judged by Stan Barnard and members of the Commission.
Excitement grew as Mayor Clough began to announce the six winners of the contest. The winners – Ciara Weaver, Isabella Frankito, Avery Schreffler, Austin Schneidler, Lindsay Sabo and Pramit Bafna – each received a proclamation from the mayor announcing their day in Westlake and congratulating them for an outstanding poster. The students also received a ribbon for the winning posters and were told all the posters would be on display the next week at the Westlake Recreation Center.
Mrs. Schneidler briefly discussed the history of Arbor Day which began in Nebraska in 1872 when an estimated 1 million trees were planted to promote more tree coverage in the United States. Since 1970, Arbor Day has been observed on the last Friday in April in the continental United States.
Each student was then presented with a pine seedling to plant at their homes, courtesy of the city of Westlake which also provided the tree that was planted at Dover Intermediate School.
The city’s Tree Commission, which has been in existence for 27 years, works tirelessly to preserve trees in Westlake. They also have a great deal of input on what trees should be planted throughout the city. Current members of the tree commission are John Walz, Margie Rossander, Diane Morris, Justin Parks and Mary Beth Schneidler.