The City of Westlake commemorated Arbor Day with a tree planting ceremony organized by the City’s Tree Commission at Dover Intermediate School on Friday, April 30. Westlake Service Director Paul Quinn III and Tree Commission Chairperson Mary Beth Schneidler presented proclamations and ribbons to six students selected as winners of this year’s Tree Poster Contest.
All fifth-grade students were invited to submit a poster explaining “Why trees are important to me!” Forty-five entries were judged by a panel comprised of Mr. Quinn, Mrs. Schneidler, Westlake Urban Forestry Manager Stan Barnard and Westlake Tree Commission members Diane Morris, Ken Sadd and Justin Parks.
This year’s contest winners were: Ryan Brediger, Leah Navratil, Freda Elsebaei, Miles Salem, Callie Barnes and Sanika Jadhav.
Mr. Barnard and other members of the Westlake Service Department were on hand to assist the winners with the tree planting.
Mrs. Schneidler briefly discussed the history of Arbor Day which began in the U.S. in 1872 in Nebraska when an estimated 1 million trees were planted to promote more tree coverage in the United States. Since 1970, Arbor Day has been observed on the last Friday in April in the continental United States.
The City of Westlake provided the crabapple tree that was planted by the students at Dover Intermediate School.
The Westlake Tree Commission, which has been in existence for 30 years, and has been recognized as a Tree City USA community in each of those years. The Commission works tirelessly to preserve trees in the City of Westlake. Commission members have a great deal of input on what trees should be planted throughout the city. Mrs. Schneidler said it is the Commission’s hope that this poster contest will encourage all Westlake residents to cherish the City’s beautiful trees!
Note: Thank you to Mary Beth Schneidler for contributing information for this article.