Tree plantings celebrate Arbor Day |

Tree plantings celebrate Arbor Day

Katrina McEntee pets Dandy on Friday in Mormon Station State Historic Park as part of an Arbor Day celebrationl.

What do trees and horses have in common?

Both were part of an Arbor Day celebration in Nevada’s oldest town on Friday.

Five riders for the Pony Express entertained more than 100 school children in Mormon Station State Historic Park before walking over to plant a tree in the Campbell Annex.

“The history you read in a book was on the ground today,” Nevada Chapter Pony Express Vice President “Pony” Ron Bell told the children during a presentation on the historic mail service.

Genoa was a way station on the Pony Express route, and remains a popular place for tourists to catch the annual reride, which is June 22 this year.

Riders Dianne Garland, Anne Martin, Jill Andrews and Jim Phelan joined Bell in presenting to the children from Jacks Valley and Minden elementary schools

Kim Coppel portrayed rider Warren Upson in describing how a few of the original Pony Express riders were not much older than the students.

Both Genoa and Gardnerville have been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA.

Gardnerville has been recognized for its urban forestry 15 years in a row, according to the foundation’s web site. This is the second year Genoa has received the recognition.

On Friday, members of Girl Scout Troop 287 and Cub Scout Pack 8583 helped Gardnerville’s staff plant a catalpa tree in Heritage Park Gardens at 4 p.m.

The town is one of only a dozen in the state to receive the honor, which it first received in 2003.

Both towns have met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community. Tree City USA communities must have a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

According to the proclamation, planting trees:

■ Promotes healthier communities by filtering the air by removing dust and other particles.

■ Moderates climate, conserves water and provides vital habitat for wildlife.

■ Reduces the heat island effect in urban areas caused by pavement and buildings.

■ Increases property values and reduce energy use and add beauty to our homes and neighborhoods.