Thursday, February 14, 2013
Byhalia celebrates Arbor Day
By SUE WATSON
Members of the Byhalia Garden Club and the Bluejays Junior Garden Club of Byhalia Middle School gathered Friday with elected officials to celebrate Arbor Day at the Byhalia Sports Association ball fields.
It was another overcast, cold and windy day as the clubs remembered the founding of Arbor Day and the importance to plant trees. The ball field needs shade for hot summer days, said garden club president Jan Sisk.
The willow oak tree planting was delayed due to muddy earth following about an inch of rain Thursday night, Feb. 7.
The tree this year was donated by Angel Wings Nursery and will be planted by Brownlee Farms when soil conditions are more favorable.
Two students, Zaida Lugo and Paige Landry, read passages on the history of Arbor Day founding by Julius Sterling Morton, who conceived the idea to plant more trees in Nebraska. The first Arbor Day took place in Nebraska, April 10, 1872, a day in which one million trees were planted in the state.
The day became a national holiday for all 50 states when, in 1970, President Richard Nixon proclaimed the last Friday in April as National Arbor Day. Other countries celebrate the equivalent of Arbor Day, following the lead in the United States.
Before offering up a prayer of thanksgiving, Stephen Bittick, pastor of Byhalia United Methodist Church, remarked about the tree serving as a symbol in the Bible for God’s will.
“Our responsibility is to be good stewards and replace trees,” he said.
Bittick mentioned the Garden of Eden in Genesis, a garden planted by God and in which he created many shade-bearing and fruit bearing trees.
The Psalmist spoke of planting the word of God as a tree in man’s life, he said, that man will bear fruit like the tree.
And in Revelations 22, angels were said to gather near a river beside which grew on each bank the Tree of Life.
Trees provide fresh oxygen for animals to breathe, nourishment for animals, and give life to the earth, he said.
Mayor Phil Malone praised the Byhalia Garden Club for the work they do to beautify the town.
“They play a big role in helping our town look better,” he said.
He thanked teachers and students in Byhalia for what they do to improve the schools “so the schools can be the best they can be.”
“I want them to know the town is supporting them,” he said. “And the Byhalia Sports Association has played a big role in lots of kids’ lives. The town supports the Byhalia Sports Association.
“One day I hope we will have a big park.”
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