City of Cheyenne celebrates Arbor Day at Hebard Elementary School

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 6:59 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The original plan for this year’s Arbor Day celebration included the planting of five trees outside of Hebard Elementary School. The weather may have taken away from the outdoor portion of the celebration, but the feeling inside the elementary school’s gym, was the same.

It started with City Forester, Mark Ellison, giving a brief history on Arbor Day to Mrs. Trujillo’s 3rd and 4th grade students.

“Since 1872 and the first Arbor Day in Nebraska, those people that have organized Arbor Day celebrations, have always tried to get kids involved, students involved.”

Cheyenne has been a “Tree City” since 1982 and according to Ellison there are now between 250,000 and 300,000 trees around the city. There were a handful of activities for the students to participate in and 4th grader, Love’ Potter, shared what trees mean to her.

“Trees help us breathe and live and it helps us make houses and everything.”

Mayor Patrick Collins proclaimed April 20, 2021 as “Cheyenne Arbor Day,” he said it’s important to show the kids in the community, just how special trees are to Cheyenne.

“An urban forest really does give you the character for the city you live in, and teaching kids that responsibility, I think it’s a really important message.”

For Ellison and his crew, seeing the Hebard Elementary students enjoy the activities this morning, meant a lot.

“We want to educate young kids. As they grow up, they understand the benefits of trees and they plant and care for trees in their communities.”

Ellison said they will be planting the five trees at the elementary school later this week. Each student also received a bur oak tree and a voucher to see Wall-E at the Civic Center this weekend.

The celebration also included a few awards. Tara Costanzo received the Tree City USA and Growth Award, Jeanie Vetter received the Cheyenne Urban Forestry Partner Award, and 3rd grader, Scarlet Rios and 4th grader, Love’ Potter, won the poster contest.

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