AMI celebrates National Arbor Day

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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