LaGrange celebrates Arbor Day by planting trees near The Thread

Published 9:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2023

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The City of LaGrange held its annual Arbor Day celebration on Friday with its traditional tree planting.

The trees were planted near a recently added section of The Thread that reaches from the Coleman Center to the end of Hunnicutt and Murphy Ave.

LaGrange has observed Arbor Day for the past 23 years. Since then, LaGrange has been recognized as a Tree City USA for more than two decades.

More than 3,400 communities across the United States have committed to becoming a Tree City USA, which requires that they maintain a tree board and ordinance, spend at least $2 per capita on urban forests and recognize Arbor Day, said LaGrange Community Development Director Alton West.

The trees were purchased by members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Theta Xi Omega Chapter, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Theta Nu Lamda Chapter, of which West is a member, as part of their service project to the community.

“The environment is extremely important to all of us and we, the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Theta Xi Omega Chapter, consider it an honor to partner with the gentlemen of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in this year’s Arbor Day celebration,” said Dr. Lorraine Jackson, President of Theta Xi Omega Chapter.

Dave Long, Urban Community Forestry Specialist with the Georgia Forestry Commission, said Arbor Day began in Nebraska in the 1840s and has spread to be celebrated in all 50 states.

“Unlike other holidays, which celebrate things that have already happened, Arbor Day represents hope for the future. We embody that hope by planting trees today in the hopes that they’ll clean our air, stabilize our soil, filter our water, provide socio-economic benefits for all of us, shade during the summer and the other myriad benefits that trees provide,” Long said.

After all of the speeches, city officials and tree board members gathered to ceremonially plant one of the multiple trees to go alongside the new section of The Thread. Long also provided free tree seedlings for guests to take home to plant.