Arbor Day celebrated in Gardnerville |

Arbor Day celebrated in Gardnerville

by Amy Alonzo
Mea Abreu, Town of Gardnerville's Jeff LaCost and Tom Dallaire and the Nevada Department of Forestry's Rod Haulenbeek hold up a banner at the Arbor Day celebration in Heritage Park Friday.
Brad Coman |

With a push and a shove, 9-year-old Carleigh Dickerson helped roll a tree into a freshly dug hole at Heritage Park Friday afternoon, where two trees were planted in honor of Arbor Day.

The Town of Gardnerville, recently named a Tree City USA for the 15th year in a row, held its annual tree planting ceremony at the south end of the park this year.

“Trees give you oxygen and they keep the soil from washing away,” Carleigh said. “I like how they give the shade and I like how most of them are really low and you can climb them and they are strong and you can make a swing.”

Members of Girl Scout Troop 287 and Cub Scout Troop 8583 helped Town officials and a representative from the Nevada Department of Forestry plant 2-inch caliper Autumn Blaze maple and red oak trees in the park.

Emma Molina, 8, who said she has helped plant trees twice before, expertly wielded a shovel as she pushed dirt around the root ball of the maple tree.

“I like that they can grow and you can watch them as they grow each day,” she said.

Town officials began inviting local troops to participate in its Arbor Day plantings about three years ago, said Geoff LaCost, superintendent of town public works.

“It’s more fun to plant them with the kids,” he said.

Arbor Day traces its roots back nearly 150 years ago. According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, pioneer J. Sterling Morton introduced the idea of Arbor Day at a meeting of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture on Jan. 4, 1872. The idea was positively received, and a date was selected of April 10 of that same year. It is estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska during the first Arbor Day.

In 1885, Arbor Day was named a legal holiday in Nebraska and Morton’s birthday — April 22 — was selected as the new official holiday date. Today the most common date for observance is the last Friday in April.

In honor of Arbor Day the Town of Gardnerville has planted about 20 trees in the past 15 years, LaCost said.