Every year on the last Friday of April, the Beautification Committee celebrates the Official Prince George’s County Arbor Day at a county elementary school. To read more about Arbor Day go to https://www.arborday.org/ The tradition of involving an entire elementary school in the celebration of Arbor Day began in 1985 with County Executive Parris Glendenning. He supported getting school children together to plant trees and learn about how important trees are to our environment. The Beautification Committee partnered with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), Prince George's County Dept. of Public Works and Transportation and Dept. of the Environment, the chosen schools’ principal and staff to hold the event. Students spend time learning about the importance of trees and time on related activities as part of their regular lessons. A plan for the planting project is put together by the Neighborhood Design Center.
Plan for Mattaponi ES
On the day we begin with a ceremony involving the whole school, parents, police and fire department personnel, VIP’s from the community, and volunteers from the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC), MDNR, Prince George’s County Department of the Environment (DoE), Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T), MDNR Forest Service (FS), Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Prince George’s Soil Conservation District (PGSCD), and Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). These individuals and organizations help students plant their classrooms’ tree. Every student participates and the classes agree to water their tree.
Additionally, the planting of a ceremonial tree on school property is supervised by horticultural experts from the Committee, with the principal, school staff, and various participating dignitaries.
Also, at the ceremony, The County is presented with the Annual Tree City USA award. Prince George’s County has been given this award every year since 1983. Receiving this national award is an excellent indicator that our County is taking its tree planting and tree care responsibilities seriously.
The Tree City USA program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, provides direction, technical assistance, public attention, and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns, cities and counties where more than 135 million Americans live. The many benefits of being a Tree City include creating a framework for action, education, a positive public image, and citizen pride.
If your local Elementary School is lacking trees on the campus and has room to plant them, please contact us and we will consider them for future years. Remember we plant a tree for every class of students and that can mean close to 30 trees being planted at some sites.