Arbor Day Ceremony to Take Place at the Lakewood School District Office Building

April 20, 2015

An Arbor Day ceremony will take place at the Lakewood School District office, 200 Ramsey Ave, Lakewood, at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24. Deputy Mayor Menashe Miller will read a proclamation in honor of Arbor Day.

Superintendent Laura Winters chose to plant two Kwanzan Cherry trees in an area that lacks vegetation on both sides of the entrance to the district offices. The School District’s horticulture class will help landscape the areas around the cherry trees with additional shrubs and a sign will state that the trees were planted on Arbor Day 2015.

In past years, trees have been planted at township fire companies, EMS, Lakewood Public Works and the BlueClaws’ stadium. Three years ago, the Arbor Day ceremony took place at the Clarke School; two years it was at the Oak Street School; last year it was at the Spruce Street School.

Dr. Gross said, “Recently we decided to hold the Arbor Day ceremony at schools so we could educate the children about the holiday. Superintendent Winters also thought it would be a great idea to involve the horticulture class students in the planting and the ceremony. We are delighted that the students will be able to put what they learn in class into action by helping with the Arbor Day planting.”

Interim Principal Richard Goldstein and Horticulture Teacher Brian Surgent report that some students will be reading tree-related poems and others will be providing music for the ceremony. Dr. Gross, a full-time administrator and biology professor at Georgian Court University (GCU), is also the director of the university’s arboretum.

The first celebration of Arbor Day in the United States took place in 1872. The holiday, held on the last Friday in April, was created to encourage individuals and groups to plant trees and realize their importance.

Lakewood has embraced that concept, holding Arbor Day ceremonies and planting hundreds of trees over the years. Craig J. Theibault, former chairman of the Lakewood Shade Tree Commission from 1994 to 2010 and a current member, said, “This is the 34th year Lakewood is among 172 New Jersey municipalities that hold the distinction of being designated a Tree City USA. You know what they say: ‘The best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago; the second best time is today.’”

Theibault, who holds a B. S. degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture, has been a member of the Ocean County Shade Tree Commission since 1992. Besides serving on the Shade Tree Commission locally, Theibault has also served as a member of the N.J. Community Forestry Council, a 20-member advisory board to the State Forester, since 1999.

The media is invited to cover the Arbor Day Program, which starts at 9:00 a.m., April 24.
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