While the National Arbor Day observance is celebrated on the last Friday in April, many states have implemented state-recognized Arbor Days that reflect the best time for planting in their region.
New Mexico celebrates Arbor Day the second Friday of March. Home to 12 certified Tree City USA communities, we take a look back at how a few of those cities observed the tradition.
Albuquerque—a Tree City USA community for 15 years—celebrated Arbor Day with a traditional tree planting. The city of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation partnered up with Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico State Urban Forestry, and New Mexico Think Trees to plant trees at two local parks near schools. Students experienced hands-on participation in the tree plantings.
In addition to the city’s celebration, Tree New Mexico held a presentation at a Bernalillo County Open Space lead by certified arborists who talked about best practices in caring for trees. A local forester discussed the condition of New Mexico’s forests in light of changing climate and drought conditions. Participants received a New Mexico Olive Tree at the conclusion of the presentation.
The City of Santa Fe and Railyard Stewards—a local conservation organization that helps the city maintain its largest park—held a tree planting ceremony following the ribbon cutting and community picnic for the opening of the Los Pinos Bridge/Ashbaugh Park. Santa Fe has been designated a Tree City USA community for five years, and Growth Award recipient for two years.
In addition to the tree planting, the city gave away tree saplings and held family-friendly activities consisting of live music from a marimba band, ice cream, and pastries. The Santa Fe Disc Golf group held demonstrations and offered free classes to attendees.
Roswell celebrated Arbor Day at the Spring River Park & Zoo with a tree planting and tree giveaway. A tree was planted in honor of PGA professional Saul Sanchez who was shot and killed after interrupting a burglary.
Following the tree planting city park staff gave demonstrations on proper tree pruning and climbing. Those who attended the Arbor Day celebration not only got to select two trees to take home with them but also had the opportunity to pose for pictures with Smokey Bear. Roswell, the state’s longest recognized Tree City USA has received the designation for 24 years and the Growth Award for 11.