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Arbor Day celebrations center around trees

| April 27, 2022 12:00 AM

Kalispell is hosting an Arbor Day celebration in Woodland Park on Friday.

The theme “Healthy Trees, Healthy Me!” will guide the day's activities, including environmental education booths, park beautification, tree planting and an Arbor Day ceremony. Third-graders from School District 5 will participate in tree planting activities.

The event begins at 9:05 a.m. and concludes at 2:30 p.m. Community members are invited to attend for the formal Arbor Day ceremony and tree planting beginning at 9:20 a.m.

Throughout the day, volunteers will plant 30 trees in and around Woodland Park, while organizations such as the Flathead Audubon Society, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Flathead Electric Co-op and many more will be on hand to help students learn about the importance of trees through science experiments and demonstrations.

The idea for Arbor Day originated in Nebraska in 1872, and is now widely celebrated in all 50 states, as well as internationally.

Kalispell has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA for 35 years, meaning that the city has a dedicated tree board and/or department, an ordinance for tree care, a community forestry program that financially invests in its trees, and an Arbor Day proclamation and day of observance. Commonly observed the last Friday in April, Arbor Day provides an opportunity to plant trees and celebrate their importance in our cities and communities — for their practical value as well as their contribution to our health and well-being.

Trees provide shade and lower air temperatures, filter the air and provide oxygen, improve mental and physical health for the people who live near them, and promote higher test scores and better academic performance for students. Studies have shown that people of all ages feel better when they spend time among trees – hence “Healthy Trees, Healthy Me!”

Kalispell's Arbor Day celebration is presented by the Kalispell Urban Forestry Committee in conjunction with the city of Kalispell Parks and Recreation Department.

COLUMBIA FALLS will hold its Arbor Day celebration beginning at noon Friday, May 6, at River's Edge Park in Columbia Falls. The event will feature local arboreal experts and fifth grade students who will all go home with a sapling. Members of the public are welcome to join. The planting of a few new trees in the park and presentations by experts about the tree industry locally will round out the celebration.

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