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HaylingAnnual ceremony set for 11:00am, Friday, January 20
at Dr. Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park

January 19, 2017 - The City of St. Augustine will commemorate Arbor Day on Friday, January 20 at Dr. Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park located at the southern terminus of Riberia St. The brief ceremony starts at 11:00am and the public is invited to attend.

     As is the tradition, the ceremony will include the planting of trees by city officials and presentations by the Street Tree Advisory Committee (STAC). In addition, the Environmental Youth Council will participate with remarks prior to the conclusion of the ceremony which includes Smokey Bear leading the distribution of a variety of saplings to all in attendance.

     While Arbor Day is celebrated nationally on the last Friday in April, individual states hold ceremonies on dates better suited to their own tree-planting season. Florida's Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Friday in January.

     This year the trees being planted are Yaupon Holly, Bald Cypress and Live Oak, all donated by Southern Horticulture. Over the past 34 years, the city has planted 97 trees in 24 locations as part of Arbor Day ceremonies. Saplings being distributed free to the public at the conclusion of this year's ceremony include Red Maple, Southern Red Cedar, Live Oak, Slash Pine and Loblolly Bay.

     The 2017 ceremony marks the 34th year the city has received the prized designation of Tree City USA from the Arbor Day Foundation. According to the National Arbor Day Foundation (www.ArborDay.org) there are 173 cities in the State of Florida which have received the designation of Tree City USA, but only 10 have received the designation longer than St. Augustine.

     Past Arbor Day ceremonies have included planting of Holly, Live Oak, Red Maple and Sycamore trees at city wide locations including Sebastian Inland Harbor, Rollins Park, Joseph Pomar, Jr. Recreational Facility, Eddie Vickers Recreational Facility, Government House, J. Edward "Red" Cox Recreational Facility, the Plaza de la Constitución, Willie Galimore Center, Davenport Park and the Fullerwood neighborhood.

     For more information contact the Department of Public Affairs at 904.825.1004.