Salida Celebrates Arbor Day & 25th Tree City USA Award

by Marilyn Moore, Tree Board President & Secretary

The Salida Tree Board is pleased to announce that for the 25th consecutive year, Salida has received the Tree City USA award from the National Arbor Day Foundation. This award recognizes those communities that have a tree board or forestry department, a tree-care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. The community is also required to spend at least $2 per citizen on tree planting and maintenance.  In 2011, the city spent over $18,000 on tree related activities.

This year, Arbor Day in Salida will be celebrated at 1:45 p.m. May 10 in the K Street Pocket Park between K Street and Angelview Circle at 13th Street. Students from Michelle Ludwig’s fourth-grade class at Longfellow Elementary will help Curtis Milstein of Colorado Sticks and Stones plant a Sensation maple. Mayor Don Stephens will read the Arbor Day proclamation, and the Tree City USA award will be presented to the city.  The public is invited to participate, enjoy the fun, and learn how to properly plant a tree.

Last year, with the generous Arbor Day donations from Salida residents, businesses and organizations, the Tree Board purchased and planted two hackberry trees in Alpine Park.  Arbor Day donations received this year will be put towards the cost of the new tree in the K Street Pocket Park.  Arbor Day donations may be sent to the Salida Tree Board, 448 E. 1st Street, Suite 112, Salida, CO 81201.

Salida has nearly 1,900 trees in our parks and on the city rights of way that are valued at over $3 million. Urban trees provide shade, protection from the wind, homes and food for wildlife, hold the soil in place, add privacy, increase the value of our homes, and utilize carbon dioxide.  Unfortunately, the average tree in the city is 80-100 years old.  To compensate for the all-too-frequent loss of trees due to old age, insects and disease, the Salida Tree Board, through its Adopt-a-Tree program every year, plants young trees in the city right-of-way for homeowners who are willing to care for the new tree.  Since 1999, the Tree Board has planted over 200 trees!

Information about tree planting and care is available at the Tree Board website at www.cityorsalida.com and in a pamphlet, “A Guide to Salida Trees”, that is available for checkout at the Salida Regional Library. Citizens who are passionate about trees and would like information about joining the Salida Tree Board or becoming a tree steward and helping to care for Salida’s young trees can call 539-9195 for more information.