More than a year ago, lap swimmers at the Carson City Aquatic Facility started collecting money to plant a tree in memory of a fellow swimmer who died of cancer.
This Friday on Arbor Day, the swimmers will plant an autumn purple ash in front of the Aquatic Facility in memory of Denise Moran. They will join members of the Carson City Shade Tree Council and Secretary of State Dean Heller in a local celebration of National Arbor Day, where another ash will be planted.
"Any progressive community that cares about its urban forest will recognize Arbor Day," said Scott Fahrenbruch, Carson City parks superintendent. "Environment is important in the community as well as out of the community's boundaries."
For the sixth year in row Carson City was named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, which indicates Carson City's commitment to planting and caring for trees. Southwest Gas Corp. will receive the George Washington Ferris award for the landscaping of their offices on Silver Sage Drive.
Called xeriscape, Fahrenbruch said, their landscaping was an example of how to beautify an area with drought-tolerant trees and shrubs. Ferris was responsible for planting for planting the original trees on the Capitol grounds. Donna Kuester, an original member of the Shade Tree Council, will receive an individual Ferris award for her work in encouraging the city to pay attention to trees.
Heller, co-chairman of the Nevada Trees 2000 program, will be the guest speaker at the event. Heller and Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa chair Trees 2000, a separate but Arbor Day-appropriate project aimed at planting drought-resistant and regionally appropriate trees and wildflowers around the state. They would like to see one tree planted for all of Nevada's 1.8 million residents by the end of the year. Over 10,000 trees have been planted in large projects state wide, and individuals can register their tree plantings in the program via its website at www.trees2000.org.
Jean Bondiett, shade tree council member, said she hopes Arbor Day draws people's attention to a valuable resource.
"Trees are very important to our ecology, especially in Nevada where we lost so many trees to fire and timbers going to the Comstock," Bondiett said. "The fact that Carson City is a tree City USA shows we're trying to address the reforestation of the area one tree at a time."
Arbor Day was started in Nebraska in 1872 by a newspaper editor who suggested new settlers and homesteaders plant trees for shelter, fruit, shade, fuel and beauty on the plains. More than a million tress were planted in 1872 and the idea continued to grow, with tree plantings taking place on Arbor Day, always the last Friday of April.
If you go:
What: Carson City National Arbor Day celebration
When: Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Carson City Aquatic Facility, 841 N. Roop St.