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City hosting Arbor Day celebration today

| April 30, 2021 1:00 AM

It’s National Arbor Day and the city is inviting the community to help them celebrate.

Sandpoint officials are hosting a local Arbor Day celebration that will take place at Pine Street Park, located at the corner of Lake and Pine. The public is invited to join members of the Sandpoint Tree Committee and Council President Shannon Sherman at 10 a.m. for the reading of an Arbor Day proclamation and presentation from the Idaho Department of Lands celebrating Sandpoint’s 25-year anniversary as a participating city in Tree City USA.  A new tree will also be planted in honor of the day. 

Sandpoint officials and Tree Committee members are updating the city’s urban forestry assessment and management plan this year. Recently, the City contracted with Jim Flott of Urban Forestry Consulting Services to lead this effort and partnered with Idaho Department of Lands and Spokane Conservation District to expand its current urban forestry programming.  In late 2020, a forestry manager provided a half-day workshop to City Parks & Recreation staff on pruning young and mature trees, tree insect and disease identification and best control measures.  It is envisioned that similar training opportunities will be made available to the public under the updated plan, city officials said.

“Sandpoint has a rich history of caring for and protecting its urban forest.  Twenty-five years in Tree City USA is a significant milestone and we deeply appreciate the work of the many volunteers who have participated as members of our Tree Committee over the years,” said Mayor Shelby Rognstad. “We look forward to announcing opportunities later this spring for the public to provide input on an updated vision, goals and recommendations to grow and manage our urban forest in Sandpoint.” 

Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states to recognize the importance trees play in our lives. Approximately 40% of Idaho is covered with trees, providing 31,000 local jobs and $2.4 billion to the state economy.  Town “forests,” including residential yards, parks, landscaping parking lots and trees in rights-of-way significantly contribute to that 40% coverage.  These trees help to clear the air, absorb and purify stormwater, reduce home heating and cooling costs, absorb noise and provide shade and protection from wind.