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AMI celebrates National Arbor Day

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

Florida Forest Service spokesman Ed Flowers assists April 25 in raising the Tree City USA flag, recognizing National Arbor Day at the U.S. Post Office, 116 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach. Islander Photo: Mark Young

Bradenton Beach Commissioner Ric Gatehouse, Florida Forest Service representative Ed Flowers, Ranger Jorge Acevedo of De Soto National Memorial, Bradenton Beach Mayor John Shaughnessy, Postmaster Kevin Buckley, and Keep Manatee Beautiful executive director Ingrid McClellan celebrate National Arbor Day with native vegetation plantings at the U.S. Post Office, 116 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach.

Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger proclaims April 27 National Arbor Day as community leaders dedicate a bald cypress tree — the first of a dozen various trees expected to beautify and create a barrier from area traffic at Third and Manatee avenues. Joining Bohnenberger are, from left, Jorge Acevedo of the De Soto National Memorial, commissioners Sandy Haas-Martens and David Zaccagnino, Ed Flowers of the Florida Forest Service and Jerry West and Marilyn Shirley of the Holmes Beach Parks and Beautification Committee. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell

It all started 140 years ago in Nebraska when it was suggested to put aside one day of the year to plant new trees.

Since then, Arbor Day has expanded across the country and the world as a celebration and understanding of how important natural resources are in enhancing people’s lives, both economically and aesthetically.

The three cities of Anna Maria Island joined the national celebration April 27 with Bradenton Beach holding the day’s first ceremony at the U.S. Post Office branch, 116 Bridge St.

Keep Manatee Beautiful executive director Ingrid McClellan hosted the ceremony, which included the planting of native Florida vegetation to enhance the post office’s landscaping.

“It’s an honor to be here and recognize Bradenton Beach’s first year as a Tree City USA,” said McClellan.

Mayor John Shaughnessy thanked everyone for their cooperation in making the April 27 ceremony possible.

“I’ve noticed a tremendous spirit of cooperation between everyone,” he said. “It’s very wonderful and makes my job easier.”

Florida Forest Service spokesman Ed Flowers said it took that spirit of cooperation for Bradenton Beach to become a Tree City USA, and will take continued cooperation to keep it that way.

“It’s not easy to become a Tree City USA,” said Flowers. “It doesn’t happen overnight. (McClellan) did a lot of work with the city council to make this happen. It’s not something you just get to keep. I’m confident Bradenton Beach will continue to be a Tree City USA.”

The ceremony included a Tree City USA flag-raising at the post office.

“The Bradenton Beach post office is very happy to be a part of this,” said Postmaster Kevin Buckley. “The post office is very appreciative of letting us be a part of this. The landscaping is beautiful and it’s a very good thing what you all are doing.”

New plantings at the post office included sea grape and varnish leaf plants.

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