Arbor Day 2022. (Photo by Kelly Jordan.)

By David Pendered

Avondale Estates recognized Arbor Day with the simple reading of a proclamation by Mayor Jonathan Elmore.

“I, Jonathan Elmore, Mayor of the City of Avondale Estates, Georgia, do hereby proclaim Feb. 18, 2022, as the 149th anniversary celebration of Arbor Day, and urge all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day and support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands,” the mayor concluded his reading of the document.

And with that, it was over. The proclamation was the last order of business of the Feb. 9 virtual meeting of the Avondale City Council.

Friday is the day Georgia celebrates Arbor Day. The state is two months ahead of National Arbor Day, which is always celebrated on the last Friday in April, according to a report by the Arbor Day Foundation.

The wrinkle with Arbor Day is that each state celebrates during the season that’s best for planting trees in that region. Georgia has determined the best tree planting time is the third Friday in February.

A list of celebrations in other states posted by the Arbor Day Foundation shows states surrounding Georgia recognize Arbor Day over a wide swath of the calendar. South Carolina celebrates the first Friday in December. Florida celebrates the third Friday in January. Alabama celebrates the last full week of February. North Carolina celebrates the first Friday following March 15.

Trees Atlanta turns the entire upcoming week into a celebration of Arbor Day and the trees it recognizes.

Monday is Hug a Tree day. Photos of tree-hugging can be posted with hashtags #hugatree, @TreesAtlanta and @ArborDayFoundation. Trees Atlanta is to pick a winner at random to receive a gift.

Tuesday features a multi-city panel discussion on the Tree Equity Score, moderated by Greg Levine, Trees Atlanta’s co-executive director.

Wednesday’s highlight is a video on the importance of planting oak trees, hosted by Trees Atlanta educator Andrew Nelson.

Thursday features a seedling adoption program at Murphy Crossing. Thursday also is the day winners of the student art contest are to be announced. Entries no longer are accepted.

Friday brings a speaker series with author David Haskell, who’s to talk about “Trees, People, and Cities: Ancient and Modern Connections.” The in-person event is scheduled at Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center.

The events culminate Saturday when SweetWater Brewing Co. hosts a day-long party with two purposes. One is to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary. The other is to donate $5 to Tree Atlanta for each ticket sold — $30 for general admission and $20 for early birds. Tickets include four brews.

Georgia’s recognition of Arbor Day concludes Feb. 22 with a morning-long seminar titled “Trees, Equity, and Community Engagement.”

The program begins with a definition of tree equity provided by Seth Hawkins, an urban and community forestry coordinator in the Rome office of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

The final seminar is to be hosted by Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, an environmental scientist and assistant professor at Spelman College and visiting professor at Agnes Scott College. The program’s title is “Environmental Justice and the Grassroots Movement.”

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David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written...

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