MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Started in the state of Nebraska back in 1872, Arbor Day has become a national event to showcase the importance that trees have on communities.
“The importance of Arbor Day is learning about and respecting trees,” explained Craig Wilkes, Chairman of the Meridian Tree Commission. “The values that they bring to our lives, the city, along with the monetary value they have and the processes that the trees do to help us survive as humans.”
This year’s Meridian Arbor Day festivities took place a St. Patrick School. School leaders explain it is important to teach the children more about their environment they live in.
“It is a great gift from god that sometimes we take for granted and so we are trying to teach the children that through trees we get so many different gifts. That we should plant them, take care of them, and appreciate them,” stated Jennifer David, Principal of St. Patrick School.
Mississippi Power provided 3,000 fruit trees for residents of Meridian to take home and plant to help sustain the environment.
“When they plant these trees it will create fruit for the future, shade for the future, help with erosion along with many other important aspects for the environment,” said Tommy Jackson, Area Manager for Mississippi Power.
Arbor Day events in the City of Meridian have been taking place for 27 years. Helping the city breathe fresh air each time a new tree is planted.
“To understand that the trees bring life, air, oxygen, to a community and they beautify our city,” said Mayor Percy Bland, City of Meridian
Meridian is considered a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation and by plating fruit trees it will help promote healthy living in the city.
“It ties back into the health, wellness and fitness, through growing your own food, eating better and it's a great way to expand the traditional Arbor Day plantings,” said Wilkes.