Planting a tree adds value to community

Kingman Mayor Les Byram signs a proclamation Thursday morning at his office proclaiming March 8 as Arbor Day. Clockwise from left to right, standing behind him, are Nina Brackett, Extension Program assistant for School Gardening and 4-H Youth Development; Daryl Fruhwirth, Kingman Parks and Recreation; Betty Webb, resident; Janie Daughtery, Clean City Commission; Sandie Womack, Cerbat Garden Club; Rich Ruggles, Kingman Community Development Department principal planner and Clean City Commission; and Gerry Olsen, 4-H Extension agent. JC AMBERLYN/Miner

Kingman Mayor Les Byram signs a proclamation Thursday morning at his office proclaiming March 8 as Arbor Day. Clockwise from left to right, standing behind him, are Nina Brackett, Extension Program assistant for School Gardening and 4-H Youth Development; Daryl Fruhwirth, Kingman Parks and Recreation; Betty Webb, resident; Janie Daughtery, Clean City Commission; Sandie Womack, Cerbat Garden Club; Rich Ruggles, Kingman Community Development Department principal planner and Clean City Commission; and Gerry Olsen, 4-H Extension agent. JC AMBERLYN/Miner

A series of events are planned March 8 to celebrate Arbor Day in the community.

Kingman Mayor Les Byram signed a proclamation Thursday that notes the first Arbor Day observance took place in Nebraska in 1872.

It recognizes that trees can reduce erosion of topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate temperatures, cleanse the air, produce oxygen and provide habitat for wildlife.

It goes on to state trees are a renewable resource that give us paper, wood for home construction, fuel for fires and countless other wood products. Trees also beautify the community, increase property values and enhance the economic vitality of business areas.

Nina Brackett, Extension Program assistant for School Gardening and 4-H Youth Development with the Mohave County Cooperative Extension Service, and Rich Ruggles, Kingman Clean City Commission liaison, worked out details for the observance that begins at 11 a.m. at Monsoon Park on the corner of Eastern Street and Southern Avenue.

The Kingman Parks and Recreation Department, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Kingman Cerbat Garden Club and Kingman Master Gardeners are other organizations involved in the events.

Area residents are invited to participate in planting more than 30 trees provided at cost by The Home Depot, Brackett said.

"The trees include Arizona ash, Mesquite, Chinese pistacio, Afghan pine, chitalpa and evergreen oak," she said.

"We'll also announce winners of the Arbor Day Poster Contest, recipients of grants in the Community Beautification Challenge and winners of the Great Trees of Kingman."

Everyone assisting in the tree planting will have his or her name entered into a drawing to be held at 4 p.m. at The Home Depot. Three prizes to be awarded include a two-seat patio set, portable grill and water fountain stone table, Brackett said.

More than 180 students from Manzanita and La Senita elementary schools, plus Kingman Academy of Learning Intermediate School submitted posters for the contest. A winner from each school will receive a gift basket, and the teacher of that student receives a small scholarship fund for his or her classroom.

Great Trees of Kingman has 10 nominees. They are located at the Kingman City Complex, Mohave County Courthouse, Locomotive Park, Metcalfe Park, Lewis Kingman Park (2), Mohave County Public Works, 1944 Arlington St., 805 Beale St., and 225 Maple St. They range in height from 25 to 70 feet.

Winning entries will be nominated to the State Forestry Department for Great Trees of Arizona as sponsored by the Arizona State Land Department.

Nomination forms for the present year must be submitted by June 1. They are available on the city's Web site at www.cityofkingman.gov or at the office of development services located at 201 N. Fourth St., Ruggles said.

Schools and local businesses participate in the Community Beautification Challenge. They have submitted documentation of a narrative and photos of a beautification or recycling project.

"The Clean City Commission has budgeted up to $1,500 for scholarships to be awarded for those projects," Ruggles said. "There probably will be 10 or so named as recipients."

Scholarships will range from $50 to $150 apiece.