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Posted: February 15, 2010 1:03 p.m.

A Tree-riffic Day

Newton County celebrates Arbor Day this February

File photo/

Green team: Volunteers plant trees at Mansfield Elementary in 2009. Arbor Day is the time of year to help mother nature out by planting a tree at your home or school.

The city of Covington will celebrate Arbor Day on Feb. 19 with awards and a look ahead to future projects at 11 a.m. in the Turner Lake Recreation Department.

The day will start with a welcome and recognition from Covington Mayor Kim Carter, Newton County Commission Chair Kathy Morgan and chairman of the Covington Tree Preservation Board since 1990, Loy Summers. Carter and Morgan will also make the annual Arbor Day proclamation,

A memorial tree presentation will be given by Recreation Director Tommy Hailey and a Sugar Maple planted in memory of Ron Carter. The Tree Steward Award will be presented by Marshall Ginn to Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful and participating businesses that planted trees along the U.S. Highway 278 corridor several years ago as part of a project to beautify the area.

The Tree Planting Recognition award will be presented by the county landscape architect Debbie Bell to Mansfield Elementary School for their "Made in the Shade" program. Covington will be presented with its Tree City USA award and Snapping Shoals EMC will be presented with the Tree Line USA award from Georgia Forestry Commissioner Beryl Budd.

The 2009 tree-planting projects, which include planting along the exit 90 interchange, Neighborwoods at Fairview Estates and trees planted in from of the courthouse honoring city and county elected officials, will be addressed as well.

Several projects are already planned for 2010, including ARRA Grant tree planting for Newton County and Oxford, ACT Grant tree planting for Covington and Newton County and GATEway Grant planting for KNNB and Oxford.

The city of Oxford will also celebrate Arbor Day at 10 a.m. Feb. 13 at George Street Park. This will be the eleventh year the city has been a Tree City. A 2009 grant allowed them to retain a certified arborist on a contractual basis, and plans include the maintenance and pruning of established young trees. The city will also announce the dollar value of trees in parks and the homes.

A tree maintenance demonstration will be given and a environmental education and children’s activities table will be provided by Oxford College’s Sense of Place team. Free seedlings provided by the Service Guild of Covington will be available and dogwood seedlings will be planted at Bonnell Street’s pocket park.

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