The City of St. Augustine will commemorate Arbor Day on Friday, January 18 at the J. Edward “Red” Cox Recreational Facility located in Lighthouse Park at the corner of Red Cox Road and Ocean Vista Avenue. The ceremony starts at 11am and the public is invited to attend.
As is the tradition, the ceremony will include the planting of trees by city officials and presentations by the Street Tree Advisory Committee (STAC). In addition, students from R. B. Hunt Elementary School will offer musical selections, and the ceremony will conclude with Smokey Bear leading the distribution of a variety of saplings to all in attendance.
This year is the 36th year the city has been designated a Tree City USA. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, there are 175 communities 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.
While Arbor Day is celebrated nationally 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.
Past Arbor Day ceremonies have been held at 23 locations throughout the city including Rollins Park, Joseph Pomar, Jr. Recreational Facility, Eddie Vickers Recreational Facility, The Governor’s House, the Plaza de la Constitución, Willie Galimore Center, Davenport Park, the Visitors Information Center, Francis Field, and Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park. The last Arbor Day ceremony held in Lighthouse Park was in 2004.
More than 100 trees have been planned as part of the city’s Arbor Day ceremonies including Live Oak, Red Maple, Southern Red Cedar, Red Bud, Sycamore, and Bald Cypress. Live Oak is the variety planted most often with 44 total trees. This year the city will plant five Red Cedars to replace some of those lost during recent hurricanes.
For a flyer regarding the city’s Arbor Day ceremony visit www.CityStAug.com.