Celebrating Florida Arbor Day with the Trees for Wildlife Program
Florida Arbor Day is Friday, January 15th, and the Florida Wildlife Federation is pleased to announce its partnership with the National Wildlife Federation to bring more tree planting events to Florida. Our first event is this Saturday in Crawfordville, a small town south of Tallahassee.
The Iris Garden Club of Wakulla County has recently partnered with the National Wildlife Federation, and the Florida Wildlife Federation, to increase the quantity and variety of trees in its annual tree giveaway, thereby increasing the number of adults and children in Wakulla County who receive, plant, and care for native Florida trees in their yards.
The garden club has been awarded 800 bare-root tree seedlings –100 each of eight tree species – from the National Wildlife Federation’s Trees for Wildlife Program, half to be given away in 2016 and the other half in the winter of 2017. All eight species are indigenous to Wakulla County. NWF and FWF are new partners to Crawfordville’s Arbor Day Celebration and annual tree-giveaway scheduled this Saturday. The organizations are providing a mix of 400 Red bud, River birch, Southern red oak, and Bald cypress.
Pamela and Sarah Moss plant a River birch tree seedling on December 8th at the Wakulla County Library in preparation for the Iris Garden Club of Wakulla County’s Arbor Day Celebration & Tree Giveaway, January 16, at Hudson Park in Crawfordville.
On January 16, from 10 am until noon, Wakulla County families are invited to the club’s 12th Annual Crawfordville Arbor Day Celebration & Tree Giveaway at Hudson Park. Every person, including each child, will choose their own tree to take home and plant. “How to Plant” cards will be given to each recipient. Tree experts, experienced gardeners, and UF-IFAS Master Gardeners will be on hand to provide information and help people select suitable trees for their yards. There also will be photographs and written information about each type of tree, and how to plant and care for one’s new tree.
In addition, trees in pots will be provided to pre-schools and schools in the county that want to conduct their own Florida Arbor Day planting events in January. Leftover trees will be planted by Iris Garden Club members at various community sites, including county schools.
In preparation for the tree-giveaway, during the month of December, children from C.O.A.S T. Charter School helped IGC members put selected bare-root seedlings into 1-gallon pots with potting soil. Each student received a tree to take home.
Arbor Day events encourage people to plant and nurture trees. “Florida’s Arbor Day is in January which is the perfect month to plant trees in Florida,” said Jeannie Brodhead, Acting President of the Iris Garden Club. “Our goal is to replace native trees lost to development, storms, and old age so as to beautify the county, benefit wildlife, and protect our environment. Trees also provide cooling shade, reduce electric bills, and help to lower carbon emissions,” added Lynn Artz, one of the event’s coordinators.
“Replacing trees is necessary to protect wildlife. Trees provide shelter, berries and seeds for nourishment, places to hide, and nesting sites to raise young,” said Manley Fuller, President of the Florida Wildlife Federation. By planting trees, children and their families can help to ensure that wildlife thrive for years to come.
“NWF’s Trees for Wildlife Program aspires to educate youth about the role of trees in our environment, how individuals can take action to plant trees and provides stewardship for sustaining trees locally, across Florida, and across the nation,” explained Luisa Grant, Community Programs Senior Coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation. Trees for Wildlife also explores the unique connection wildlife have with trees. It’s a great opportunity to have youth learn about how to improve their environmental footprint and serves to provide schools an opportunity to “green their school, green their grounds and green the students”.
The Florida Wildlife Federation is partnering with the Iris Garden Club on NWF’s Trees for Wildlife grant. FWF made the club aware of the grant opportunity and encouraged the group to apply. Additionally, FWF is assisting with implementation and publicity for the grant and participating in the January 16, 2016 tree giveaway.
The Iris Garden Club of Wakulla County has organized an annual Arbor Day celebration and tree giveaway since 2004. The festival will be held rain or shine. For more information contact Lynn Artz, 850-320-2158, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Jeannie Brodhead,email@example.com.
The Florida Wildlife Federation plans to expand this partnership with NWF across Florida. If your garden club or school is interested in the Trees for Wildlife Program please contact the Florida Wildlife Federation at (850) 656-7113; firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Florida Wildlife Federation:
The Florida Wildlife Federation is a statewide citizens’ conservation and education organization working for the protection, enjoyment and wise use of Florida’s fish, wildlife and other natural resources. The Florida Wildlife Federation encourages the public’s appreciation of Florida’s environment through sustainable, resource-based outdoor recreation.
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