Indian Trail has earned a Tree City USA Certification five years running. So it’s natural the town makes a big deal out of Earth and Arbor Day, teaming up with Stallings again this weekend to celebrate the planet together.
The towns have been working together on the event for the past three years. This year’s celebration will be Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Crossing Paths Park in Indian Trail, 120 Blythe Drive. Residents from the two communities can learn about sustainability and take part in many activities throughout the day.
“We try to do some really cool kid events within it, and it’s a great way for everyone to learn about the earth,” said Dena Sabinske, the director of Parks and Recreation with Stallings.
There will be a tree planting ceremony, awards given out for the sixth annual elementary poetry contest and second annual high school essay contest, live entertainment, classes held by forestry experts and more. For the first time at the event the towns will have a large inflatable globe where people can go inside and watch a 10-minute video about the earth.
A representative from the North Carolina Department of Environment and National Resources also will be at the event to present the Tree City award to Indian Trail. All activities going on throughout the day are free and open to anyone who wants to take part.
A large focus of Earth and Arbor Day is Indian Trail’s Tree Initiative Program, organized by Mayor Michael Alvarez. The mayor and other town officials work with elementary school children to teach them about trees, plant trees at their schools and even send them home with their own tree to plant at home. So far the mayor has worked with students from six different schools in the area. A tree-planting event also will take place on Saturday.
“This has become a really large event with more and more schools participating,” said Roger Fish, the chairman of the Parks, Tree and Greenway committee in Indian Trail. “… The wonderful thing about (the tree initiative) is that it ties in with the economic development in the town. One of the biggest attractions for Indian Trail is that all of the tress haven’t been cut down.”
In addition to the tree initiative, Indian Trail officials also work with new and current developers in the area to ensure the preservation of trees and green space throughout the town, something Fish said
plays a large part in the town receiving the Tree City USA Certification.
Also on Saturday, Stallings will hold a Shred Day event in the town hall parking lot, 315 Stallings Road in Stallings, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Earth Day.
The schedule for the Earth and Arbor Day event is as follows:
• 10:15 a.m. – National anthem by Virginia Gutierrez, Tree City presentation
• 11 a.m. – Poetry contest winners announced
• 11:30 a.m. – How trees grow class with Union County forrester Bill Smith
• Noon – Spring walk class with Union County forrester Bill Smith and free crafts at the Cultural Arts Center, 100 Navajo Trail
For more information about the event go to www.indiantrail.org/home.php?cat=161.