Fairbanks students celebrate Alaska’s Arbor Day by planting trees

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 4:22 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Here In Alaska, Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Monday of May. This year, primary school kids learned about the importance of trees by helping to plant two trees each in two Borough Parks.

Ritchie Musick with the Fairbanks Arbor Day Committee told us about the history of this annual tradition. “Some of us got together back in 1983 and decided Arbor Day should be celebrated, and it should be done with school children. So we started offering services to help school children plant trees at their schools, or take part in a planting at a public site.”

Kindergartners from Hunter Elementary joined in planting birch trees at Bluebell Park, and second graders from Immaculate Conception Church joined in planting two birch trees at Slaterville Park.

Musick said, “One of the members of our committee is always someone from the borough. This year Brian Charlton with the borough parks helped to organize this. The borough has focused on particular parks that they’re gonna upgrade each summer. Slaterville and Bluebell were two of the ones slated for this summer.” He then added, “We are using it as a teaching opportunity for children to appreciate trees and care for them. So it’s really an educational opportunity not just a beautification job.”

This annual event is spearheaded by the Fairbanks Arbor Day Committee as a means to beautify local parks. City Mayor Jim Matherly participated by reading the official Arbor Day Proclamation at the Bluebell park planting.

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