Martinez celebrates Arbor Day, Tree City status by educating children

Sue Harbrecht and children on Arbor Day
Sue Harbrecht, Martinez Senior Center board director, helps children decorate leaves during the city’s Arbor Day celebration at Susana Park. (DONNA BETH WEILENMAN/Martinez News-Gazette)

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Martinez celebrated Arbor Day a little differently than Sterling Morton might have envisioned when he proposed in 1872 a day for tree planting, an idea he gave to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture.

Instead of a group of dignitaries turning spades to plant a tree, in Martinez, the city’s recreation employees and volunteers from the Martinez Senior Center teach children about the importance of trees, then show them how to plant a flower or bean, to make a tiny greenhouse and to create tree-related art.

About a hundred children visited Susana Park to participate in the crafts Thursday morning, participating in the activities and learning the reasons why trees are important.

The dignitary portion of Martinez’s Arbor Day celebration took place Wednesday, when the Martinez City Council and Recreation Supervisor Patty Lorick participated in the proclamation of March 7 as Arbor Day.

The proclamation praised trees for reducing erosion, cutting heating and cooling costs, cleaning the air, giving wildlife places to live and providing multiple economic resources, such as paper, construction materials and fuel, as well as such aesthetic benefits as joy and spiritual renewal.

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