Each year, Delaware celebrates the last Friday in April as “Arbor Day,” an occasion to plant trees and spotlight the numerous natural benefits that trees provide. Established by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska on April 10, 1872, it is estimated that one million trees were planted on the very first Arbor Day.
Arbor Day observances are also an integral part of community recognition programs such as Tree Campus USA, Tree City USA, and Delaware’s Tree Friendly Community Award, as well as qualifying for a financial award from the Urban Grant Program.
In 2018, Governor John C. Carney, Jr. joined state representatives, cabinet secretaries, students, teachers, and invited guests for the Delaware Arbor Day Celebration at St. Jones Reserve in Dover on Friday, May 4. Governor Carney honored the winners of the Delaware Forest Service’s Arbor Day School Poster Contest, including Statewide Winner Amelia Meyer of Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville. The 2018 poster contest theme was “Trees are Terrific… and Perfect for Pollinators!” The Governor also honored representatives from some of Delaware’s 17 Tree City USA communities.
This year’s ceremony will be held in Dover on Friday, April 26 to commemorate the City of Dover’s 30th Anniversary as a Delaware Tree City USA. Winners of the Delaware Forest Service’s annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest will also be recognized.
This year, Ellie Merrick, a fifth-grader at Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville, was named the Overall State Winner of the Arbor Day Poster Contest. This year’s theme was “Trees are Terrific… in Cities and Towns!”
2019 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners
|Kindergarten||Avery Thomas — Cedar Lane Early Childhood Center, Middletown|
|Grades 1-2||Lydia Sperati — Jennie Smith Elementary, Newark|
|Grades 3-4||Patricia Gomes — All Saints Catholic School, Wilmington|
|Grade 5||Jayden Fuller — Brandywine Springs Elementary, Wilmington|
|Kindergarten||Abigail Carter — McIlvaine Early Childhood Center, Magnolia|
|Grades 1-2||Bella Cooper — Allen Frear Elementary, Camden|
|Grades 3-4||Sarah Armstrong — Allen Frear Elementary, Camden|
|Grade 5||Sophia Yuckel — Allen Frear Elementary, Camden|
|Kindergarten||Loana Marquez Mendez — H.O. Brittingham Elementary, Milton|
|Grades 1-2||Zoe Bontrager-Thomas — Mispillion Elementary, Milford|
|Grades 3-4||Ava Strong — Southern Delaware School of Arts, Selbyville|
|Grade 5||Ellie Merrick — Southern Delaware School of Arts, Selbyville|
Each poster contest winner received a tree-themed book and a print reproduction of their poster on fine art canvas. Thanks to corporate sponsor Delmarva Power, a free tree planting ceremony will also be held at each winner’s school. In addition, every participating classroom receives free pine seedlings for all participants. Once again this year, students from the Middletown High School FFA Chapter and senior volunteers from the Modern Maturity Center in Dover are wrapping thousands of seedlings to distribute to schoolchildren statewide. Check out the previous year’s winners:
- View 2018 Arbor Day Contest Winners
- View 2017 Arbor Day Contest Winners
- View 2016 Arbor Day Contest Winners
- View 2015 Arbor Day Contest Winners
- View 2014 Arbor Day Contest Winners
For more information, email: Ashley Melvin
Additional photos of the event can be found at the Delaware Forest Service’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/delforestservice.
- Governor Carney celebrates 2018 Arbor Day at St. Jones Reserve
- Senator Tom Carper celebrates 2017 Arbor Day at Dover Air Force Base
- Governor Markell celebrates 2016 Arbor Day at DDA in Dover
- Governor Markell celebrates 2015 Arbor Day at Appoquinimink
- Governor Markell celebrates 2014 Arbor Day at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center
- Governor Markell celebrates 2013 Arbor Day at Blackbird State Forest
- Governor Markell celebrates 2012 Arbor Day at Delaware State University
- 2013 Arbor Day Celebration in Wilmington
The Delaware Forest Service also sponsors an annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest for Delaware schoolchildren in grades K to 5 for all public, private, home, and charter schools.