Yelm to Celebrate 23rd Annual Arbor Day as a Tree City'

Ashley CunninghamCherryBlossomsYelm, WA —The City of Yelm is honored to receive the Tree City USA award from the National Arbor Foundation, recognizing the community’s 23-year commitment to effective urban forest management.

“As a nationally recognized Tree City, an Arbor Day tree planting in the City of Yelm has become our signature event that brings the community together in so many wonderful ways,” Mayor JW Foster said. “The children’s artwork contest, music performances, and free seedlings — these are some of the many ways our annual program celebrates the present while growing an even better future.”

Yelm first celebrated Arbor Day in 1924 and became a Tree City in 1997. The City will celebrate the community’s long-standing commitment during the annual Arbor Day celebration 11 a.m. April 26 at the Yelm Community Center. A Tree City must have a designated tree board, have an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, adopt a tree care ordinance and is required to hold an Arbor Day observance.

The annual celebration will feature an Arbor Day art walk to showcase the participants of the 2019 annual Arbor Day art contest, musical performances by students of Yelm Community Schools, and the planting of a tree gifted from Yelm’s Sister City, Lacey, at Yelm City Park near the new Yelm Community Garden. Along with the tree exchange between the sister-cities, a small tree will be given to everyone in attendance.

“Arbor day is not like other holidays,” Jules Sterling Morton, President Grover Cleveland’s Secretary of Agriculture once declared. “Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future.”  

The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. The Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.

Photo by Ashley Cunningham, 12th Grade Yelm High School