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150th Arbor Day celebration - Fairbanksans dedicate tree to Ukrainians

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 5:52 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Monday marks 150 years since Arbor Day was first proposed in 1872 -- and the Fairbanks community gathered to plant a tree dedicated to honoring and supporting Ukrainians during their time of war.

Fairbanksans joined together at Griffin Park to celebrate the globally-known Arbor Day holiday through singing, speeches and planting trees.

Richie Musick, with the Fairbanks Arbor Day Committee said, “Today we are dedicating this tree to the people of Ukraine. We have had homeschool children come, and they have written messages to children in Ukraine, and they have hung their ornaments with messages on the tree.”

Musick explained how these messages and poems will make their way from the branches of the freshly planted tree to the hands of Ukrainian refugee children. “Ornaments now are going to be collected and mailed to someone in Ireland who works with Ukrainian children refugees, so each message will actually end up in the hands of a Ukrainian child. We’re very excited about this.”

The Fairbanks Peace Choir showed their support through song, and Mayor Bryce Ward opened the event by reading a proclamation: “Urge all of our citizens to support efforts to responsibly manage our trees and woodlands, and further encourage all citizens to plant trees and improve our communities and promote the wellbeing of this and future generations of Alaska.”

The mayor went on to list all that trees do for humans - whether it’s producing oxygen, slowing the rate of global climate change, or even enhancing property values and business areas. To that Musick added, “We encourage people to plant trees or to prune a tree or to nurture one that’s already around - and we help. We offer our services to help plant correctly.”

In addition to this event, trees were planted all over Alaska throughout the day.

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