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Shade Tree Commission to celebrate Arbor Day with Lehighton Middle School students

Published April 24. 2019 12:32PM

It may be a day earlier than usual, but Lehighton’s commemoration of Arbor Day 2019 is sure to impart life lessons for a generation of youth.

The Lehighton Shade Tree Commission will once again spend Arbor Day with students from Lehighton Area Middle School students on Thursday.

Under the direction of Life Science teacher Joe Yescavage, the first of four classes will start at 9:30 a.m., and the public is encouraged to attend.

The event will be held at the middle school’s outdoor Environmental Center, according to Mark Hoffman, chairman of the Lehighton Shade Tree Commission.

“The borough of Lehighton will be celebrating Arbor Day 2019 a day early this year,” Hoffman said. “Traditionally, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, however based on the rain forecast for Friday, the festivities are being moved up to Thursday.”

Hoffman noted that the celebration of Arbor Day between the Shade Tree Commission and the middle school has taken place for over 15 years.

He said Steve Ziegler, a service forester working for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry, will recognize the borough with the designation of Tree City USA for the 26th consecutive year.

On April 6, Ziegler and his mentor, Frank Snyder, conducted a pruning workshop for interested residents of the borough and surrounding areas.

Those who attended provided feedback that the workshop was very beneficial, and the information shared will help them with the maintenance and upkeep of their personal trees, Hoffman said.

Others expected to help out this year include Wes Keller, forest fire specialist supervisor at the DCNR Bureau of Forestry, along with a forester or two from PPL Electric Utilities, he said.

“Steve, Wes and PPL Foresters will provide hands-on experience with the students on proper planting techniques for the trees and shrubs that will be planted,” Hoffman said. “They will also share the importance of making sure the right tree is planted at the right location. It is critical that large specimen trees are not planted too close to a house or under power lines.”

In addition, borough Mayor Clark Ritter will read the traditional Arbor Day Proclamation, Hoffman said.

“Another tradition that will continue is that all students will receive a free seedlings compliments of PPL Electric Utilities,” he said. “The Shade Tree Commission is appreciative to PPL EU, who continues to donate the money for the seedlings and trees planted on Arbor Day.”

Hoffman said that Boy Scout Troop 82 and Girl Scout Ambassador Troop 3583 will once again help bag the seedlings that will be distributed to all the students at this event.

“They are to be commended for their participation in this yearly activity,” he said. “The entire day is an outstanding example of the good that can come when different groups, individuals and organizations work together for a common cause.”

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