By Art Bushue

Chair, Clinton Forestry Board

CLINTON – This year, Clinton will present its 18th Annual Arbor Day Observation acknowledging and celebrating the largely unknown and unappreciated benefits that our community trees provide our residents, businesses, schools, visitors, parks, natural environment and even the global ecosystem.

This event was initiated by Nebraska native J. Sterling Morton in 1872 marking 2016 as the event’s 144th anniversary and having continuously expanded so as to now be widely celebrated across our nation.

The principal activity of Clinton’s Annual Arbor Day Observation is its Arbor Day Ceremony to be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday April 30, at the Clinton Elementary School cafeteria.

The ceremony includes presentation by Clinton’s State Senator, Stephen Nass; State Representative, Amy Loudenbeck; Clinton School District Administrator, Milt Thompson; Brian Wahl, Wisconsin DNR-Urban Forestry Coordinator; Dave Hooker, Village Chief of Police and Acting Administrator; Isaiah Baker, Clinton’s 2016 ‘Student of Honor’; and, the Arbor Day Poetry Contest winner.

Student poster contest awards will be presented by Heidi Simms, Elementary School Principal and the Arbor Day Poetry Contest Award by Art Bushue, Trustee and Forestry Board Chairman.

The Clinton American Legion/VFW Color Guard will ‘Present’ and ‘Retire’ the Colors to open and close the ceremony.Art Bushue will also serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.

Mr. Wahl will present Clinton its 13th consecutive Tree City USA award and its, landmark, 10th Tree City USA Growth Award acknowledging Clinton foresters 2015 accomplishments.

Award presentations will also include recognition and $25 honorarium for the winner of Clinton’s Annual Arbor Day Poetry Contest, and, recognition and cash awards for the top three student poster artists of, each, the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.

Students families are invited to obtain photos of their students as they individually receive their awards.

At the end of the ceremony will be a brief photo activity and mixer providing the public the opportunity to show appreciation to both the awardrecipients as well as to our state and local officials.

Clinton’s ‘volunteer’ foresters contributed about 500 man-hours of their personal time during 2015.Public attendance at this ceremony is a prudent way to thank our foresters for their highly effective time and effort.