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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also write City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
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Posing with Smokey Bear following the city’s 2008 Arbor Day ceremony are, from left to right, Stephanie Held, vice principal, and students Emmy Owen and Margo King, all from the Academy of Business and Leadership Education.
City designated a Tree City USA
by National Arbor Day Foundation for the 25th year
It might have been a little chilly with temperatures in the mid-fifties and the sun was no where to be found, but no one complained as St. Augustine commemorated Arbor Day 2008.
Perhaps it was because of the spirited performances by the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind Elementary Singers or the heartfelt readings by students from the Academy of Business and Leadership Education, perhaps it was the friendly gestures by Smokey Bear or the anticipation of the tree giveaway, or perhaps it was simply the fact that the nearly 100 people who turned out were happy to pause and celebrate trees.
The twenty minute ceremony at Davenport Park on Friday January 18 concluded with the planting of two Live Oak trees by members of the city’s Street Tree Advisory Committee and a real since of accomplishment as the city marked its 25th annual Arbor Day.
The musical presentations by the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind Elementary Singers, students from the third, fourth and fifth grades, were “Just Like the Sun,” and the popular traditional song “This Land is Your Land,” that had many members of the audience joining in the singing.
Students from the Academy of Business and Leadership Education, Margo King, a seventh grader and Emmy Owen, a sixth grader, read two poems that could not have been more perfect for the day: “Tree,” by Tina Mcintosh and “The Leaf and the Tree,” by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Smokey Bear and members of the city’s Parks Division gave away a wide variety of saplings including Southern Red Cedar, Swamp Bay Magnolia, Live Oak, American Elm, Black Tupelo and East Palatka Holly. No one left empty handed and many were proud to have requested and received several trees.
This year’s ceremony marks the 25th year the city has received the prized designation of Tree City USA from the National Arbor Day Foundation. There are 129 cities in the State of Florida which have received the designation of Tree City USA but only 11 have received the designation longer than St. Augustine. In addition, the Foundation presented the city with the Tree City USA Growth Award, an honor it has received every year since 1991.
While National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, individual states hold ceremonies on dates better suited to their own tree-planting season. Florida’s Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Friday in January.
The site for the annual Arbor Day ceremony and the type of tree planted changes from year to year. Over the last decade, ceremonies have included the planting of 65 trees including East Palatka Holly, Live Oak, Red Maple and Sycamore trees at Sebastian Inland Harbor, Francis Field, Joseph Pomar, Jr. Recreational Facility, Eddie Vickers Recreational Facility, Government House, J. Edward “Red” Cox Recreational Facility, and the Plaza de la Constitucion. For a complete list of all locations and tress planted as part of the city’s 25 years of Arbor Days, click here.
Members of the city’s Street Tree Advisory Committee and Smoky Bear display the city’s new Tree City USA flag recognizing the city’s receipt of the award for 25 years. Pictured from left to right are: Fred Halback, committee chair, Robin Nadeau, Chuck Lippi, Gina Burrell, Patti Henderson, the city’s Parks Superintendent, Greg Dunn, St. Johns County Forester, and Smokey Bear.