View high-resolution images from the 2021 Arbor Day Ceremony: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmVt4ZHB
Watch a video of the Arbor Day Ceremony at: https://vimeo.com/543833663
Governor John C. Carney, Jr. proclaimed April 30, 2021 as Arbor Day in Delaware at a ceremony at Rehoboth Elementary School attended by fifth-grade students and staff, members of the General Assembly, and city and state officials. The event recognized Mayor Stan Mills and the City of Rehoboth Beach for its 30th year as a Tree City USA. Governor Carney also honored student winners in the Delaware Forest Service’s annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest. Two new oak trees were planted on the school campus for the event.
Carney addressed the audience on the importance of trees to the environment: “One of my favorite bumper stickers, in terms of our personal responsibility to protect the environment, is ‘think globally, but act locally’ … we can do something, each of us, to protect our environment, to address global warming, and to prepare a better world for all of us in the future.” Carney said. “And one of the best things we can do is plant more trees.”
Speakers included Rehoboth Mayor Stan Mills, Agriculture Secretary Michael T. Scuse, DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin, Delaware State Forester Michael Valenti, and Nick Serratore of the Rehoboth Art League. Honored guests included Speaker of the House Peter Schwartzkopf, Senator Ernesto Lopez, State Auditor Kathleen K. McGuiness, and Rehoboth Beach city commissioners.
Agriculture Secretary Michael T. Scuse highlighted the importance of trees to Delaware: “Arbor Day is a great day to both celebrate trees and remind us to plant more,” he said. “Trees have many natural benefits that help improve our environment. Trees are great at capturing carbon dioxide emissions, which helps improve the air quality in our climate. They also serve as buffers to protect water quality by reducing soil erosion and decreasing runoff. The Delaware Forest Service’s Urban and Community Program works to increase tree canopy in communities statewide. Every community can find its tree canopy level at de.gov/treecanopy and then work with the Forest Service to improve it.
DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin addressed the students with a direct message of their role in today’s world: “There are people like me who speak to students who say ‘And you’re the environmental stewards of the future.’ And I’m the first person to stand up and say, actually, no. You are the environmental stewards of today. You are the ones who are pushing us and holding us accountable because this is your future we’re talking about.”
State forester Michael A. Valenti asked the students to take the lead and plant trees for future generations: “I urge you to protect trees and the forests in your communities, in your county, and in the state. Because trees provide so many natural benefits, we cannot live without them.”
Mayor Mills accepted recognition from Delaware State Forester Michael Valenti for their 30th year as a Tree City USA:
“This is such a terrific, terrific honor… The city has a history, as you know, of investing in its trees, and we will continue to do so. We value trees not just for their beauty but also for their health, social, environmental, and wildlife benefits,” Mill said. “And I also want to thank the state for supporting us in our effort to maintain the health and beauty of our trees. It takes an effort and a partnership, and I also want to give additional thanks to all those within our community who plant and nurture trees, and who are committed to the City of Rehoboth Beach continuing as a Tree City USA.”
Rehoboth Elementary School fifth-grader Miranda Garcia was among three fifth-grade students honored for her winning entry in the Delaware Forest Service’s Arbor Day School Poster Contest – she was selected as the Sussex County winner for Grade 5. The winning students participated in a ceremonial tree watering of two new white oaks planted on the school campus, along with Governor Carney and state officials.