The day of events started with an educational presentation presented by Monticello Tree Board members Hope Bragg and Susan Sharp with over seventy elementary students from Drew Central. UAM Interim Chancellor Jay Jones announced winners of the week's forestry related quiz bowl and scavenger hunt competitions. UAM Student Government officials read the history of Arbor Day; followed by proclamations being presented by both Monticello Mayor Zack Tucker and Mr. Jones.
Arkansas Forestry Commission District Forester Jerry Lynn presented a Tree City, USA flag to Mayor Tucker and a Tree Campus, USA flag to Mr. Jones in recognition the entities' qualifying another year for the respective programs. Special guest Smokey Bear made an appearance to personally greet the students, as Mayor Tucker, Mr. Jones, SGA officials, and Dr. Phil Tappe, Dean of the School of Forestry and Natural Resources, planted two trees on the UAM quad.
The City and University must meet four standards annually to qualify for the Tree City, USA and Tree Campus, USA programs, which is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation. One of the standards is to conduct an Arbor Day ceremony with a proclamation. Monticello is one of only about 50 Tree City, USA communities in Arkansas. While, UAM is only one of two campuses in Arkansas to qualify as a Tree Campus, USA.
The Monticello Tree Board has seven members. It is a local government commission dedicated to promoting the benefits of trees and the development of a sustainable community forest in Monticello through education, tree planting projects, and partnerships. Recent projects have included pruning and tree planting at the city parks. Future projects will depend on grant opportunities and donations. Contributions can be made to the “Trees Are Us” account at Union Bank.
For more information about the Monticello Tree Board or Tree City, USA, contact Tree Board Chair Chris Stuhlinger, firstname.lastname@example.org.