Hancock County Treasures - Arbor Day in Fortville Indiana

This installment of Fortville Mama's Hancock County Treasures series is brought to you by guest blogger, Tammy White, Town of Fortville Office Manager. Tammy heads up the Arbor Day celebration in Fortville and is the perfect person to share exactly why Arbor Day is so special in our town. Did you know Fortville is a proud Tree City USA town?

Make sure to follow the Town of Fortville on Facebook to keep up on this year's Arbor Day celebration (Friday April 24th) and find out how to get your very own FREE seedling tree from the town!

Without further adieu, here is Tammy.

"Other holidays repose on the past.
Arbor Day proposes the future."

J. Sterling Morton, Arbor Day Founder

Have you ever planted a tree and wondered how tall it would grow in the future? Ever look at a Live Oak tree, such as the gorgeous ones from Savannah Georgia pictured below, and wonder if the person who planted it 273 years ago knew that it would be still be standing proud all those years later? 

Photo Credit: Tammy White, Live Oaks in Savannah Georgia
Trees, beautiful trees, that provide us with so much more than just leaves to rake in the fall. I know it is hard to think like that when you are spending all of your free time in the fall outside bagging them up but here are things to consider:
  • The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. 
  • Landscaping with trees can increase property values as much as 20%. 
  • Trees can be a stimulus to economic development by attracting new business and tourism. 
  • Mulch your leaves instead of bagging them. Just mow them up! The organic matter and nutrients from leaves mown into lawn areas has been proven to improve turf quality. Municipalities, both large and small, spend thousands of dollars each year to collect, transport, and process autumn leaves, tying up resources that could be used elsewhere in our communities. If we all keep our leaves on our properties, we will improve our gardens, save money, and enhance the environment we all share. 
The Town of Fortville has been recognized for 10 consecutive years as a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Although Live Oak trees are not here in the Midwest, we still have some very beautiful trees. We are very proud to be recognized and take the title very seriously.

There are several steps that must be taken every year to maintain the “Tree City USA” status:

  1. Community must have a “Tree Board” or department.

  2. Community must have a Tree Ordinance.

  3. Community must have Forestry Program with an annual budget of at least        $2 per capita.

  4. Community must have an Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation.

The Town of Fortville also has received the following awards:
  • 2010 Outstanding Governmental Entity awarded by The Indiana Urban Forest Council 
  • 2010 Gold Leaf Award awarded by The International Society of Arboriculture
  • The Growth Award for the years 2008, 2010, 2012 awarded by The Arbor Day Foundation 
The Town of Fortville recognizes Arbor Day each year on the last Friday of April. We set up our tree seedling give away in the reception area of the town hall. Nine years ago we started out giving away about 100 seedlings, and it took days for them to be all distributed. Last year we gave 500 trees and they were gone in about 4 hours. We have also given every student in the Mt. Vernon Elementary School tree seedlings a few times. I think people are starting to really see what trees can do for us. 

Fortville employees Officer Pat Bratton & Brian Scruggs
delivering seedlings to Mt. Vernon Elementary.
But you must understand the correct method of planting your trees. There’s a little more to it than just digging a hole and plopping that seedling or young tree in the hole. You really should study the area in which you want to add a tree. Is it a sunny spot? Are there overhead power lines? Is the ground properly prepared?

You can find all the information that you need at www.arborday.org

MVHS FFA receiving a tree planting lesson from our town
Forester and Purdue educator Lindsey Purcell.
- Tammy

April 2015 Hancock County Treasures blog series is brought to you by Lincoln Square Pancake House - Fortville Location. Thank-you for your support of Fortville Mama and local family fun in and around Hancock County, Indiana. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank-you to the businesses that help support Fortville Mama. Your support is allowing us to make 2015 even cooler than 2014!

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