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Arbor Day

Pembroke students learn the importance of trees during their week long celebration for Arbor Day

By Kara Richenberg
Principal Norman Foster talking with fifth and sixth grade students about Arbor Day .
Photo by Kara Richenberg

When Arron Brown, a sixth-grade teacher from Pembroke Intermediate School, heard about an opportunity to get money for their school to plant trees, he knew he had to see what it was all about.

Arron applied for a grant through the New York State Urban Forestry Council and was selected to receive $500 for his school to purchase trees. He decided on two trees to plant in celebration of Arbor Day (the last Friday of April). 

“I chose the red maple tree because they are strong and resilient, just like the district is helping them to grow up to be. I also chose a Japanese cherry blossom for its beauty and positivity. If the students are having a bad day they can come look at the tree and think of positive things, like when they all planted the tree this Arbor Day,” said Brown. 

There were two different ceremonies one for the third and fourth grade classes, which planted the red maple tree, and one for the fifth and sixth grade classes, which planted the Japanese cherry blossom.

Students participated in a week-long celebration, where they learned about the history of Arbor Day, the importance of trees, and got creative with a poem contest. 

Students who participated in the poem contest were only given the topic of trees. There was a total of 42 submitted poems. The winners were announced at each ceremony and were awarded a certificate and a Tim Horton's gift card. 

The teachers also awarded a few selected students to help shovel the first scoops of dirt. Students were recognized for their character traits of resilience and caring throughout the year.

Norman Foster, Pembroke Intermediate School Principal, also spoke to the students about how trees play a vital role in our everyday lives and how Arbor Day was recognized in 1972 by former President Richard Nixon who officially made it a holiday.

“Most importantly the students get to remember that they have planted these trees for future students to admire and enjoy,” Brown said.

Aaron Burch, a fifth-grade teacher, and Leo Zuch (fifth grade) shoveling the first dirt around the Japanese cherry blossom.
Photo by Kara Richenberg
Fourth-grade Intermediate school reporters Ellie Benson (left) and Raegan Shay (right).
Photo by Kara Richenberg
Sixth-grade students (from left to right) Aleanna Lang, Scarlett Baker, Harper Godlove, and Fiona Surdi pose for a photo opp in front of the Japanese cherry blossom tree.
Photo by Kara Richenberg
Arron Brown talks with the third and fourth grade students about their red maple tree.
Photo by Kara Richenberg
Poem contest winners Harper Ricci, fourth grade (left), and Cecilia O'May, third grade (right). 
Photo by Kara Richenberg
Autumn Fagan (3rd grade) putting her shovel full of dirt around the red maple tree.
Photo by Kara Richenberg
Third and fourth grade students help fill in dirt around the Red Maple tree.
 Photo by Kara Richenberg
Madilyn Bischoff, sixth grade, and Benjamin Kohn, Intermediate School music teacher, playing with the band.
Photo by Kara Richenberg
Students raise their hands to answer one of Mr. Foster's Arbor Day questions.
Photo by Kara Richenberg
Sixth-grade Intermediate School reporters Norah Webber (left) and Lola Hallett (right).
Photo by Kara Richenberg

City celebrates Earth Day and Arbor Day this Saturday

By Billie Owens

From 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, April 30, the City of Batavia will celebrate both Earth Day and Arbor Day. Rain or shine.

The morning will begin at Austin Park on Jefferson Avenue with an Energy Smart Program presentation. There will also be giveaways and several displays including: a seed starting display by the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners; a composting display by GLOW; city recycling Information; a Youth Bureau Craft Booth, National Grid lighting display and handouts, Garbage Art by GoArt!, and a Smoke Free Now Booth by GCASA.

Volunteers will then be assigned a City Park or downtown in the area of Main and Ellicott streets to pick up debris. The volunteers will be asked to regroup at Austin Park at 11:45 a.m. for tree planting ceremonies and a complimentary lunch sponsored by Reality Check.

A challenge has been given to the local fifth-grade classes and the class with the most participants in our Earth Day event will be announced at noon. The winning class will receive a pizza party for their fifth-grade class at their school.

The City of Batavia Youth Bureau has organized this event for the community.

The trees for the planting ceremonies have been donated by Lowes and Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union. ARC is also donating their services and supplies for the event and Tim Horton’s is donating coffee and TimBits for the volunteers.

The city is seeking volunteers to give a few hours of their time to get out and recognize Earth Day & Arbor Day and to help Clean up & Green up Batavia!

If there are any questions, please contact: City of Batavia Youth Bureau, located at One Batavia City Centre. Phone is 345-6420. FAX is 344-0260. E-mail:

Photos: Earth Day in Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens

City and county officials were heading up Earth Day/Arbor Day activities at three locations in Genesee Park. At Austin Park, the city hosted a park clean-up day. At Dewitt Recreation Area, volunteers and children were out to clean up the park, plant trees and post birdhouses, and at Genesee County Park, volunteers were on hand to clean up the trails.

After the jump are more pictures:

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