Silver bells ring at Arbor Day celebration

By Thaddeus Miller / tmiller@losbanosenterprise.comMarch 8, 2013 

Dozens of friends, fans and lovers of trees feted oaks, pines, firs and the like at a city park last week.

Los Banos celebrated 25 years of Arbor Days on March 1, and 23 years as a National Arbor Day Foundation Tree City U.S.A.

Tree Committee member John Spevak, a contributing columnist to the Enterprise, read from "Don't Forget the Tree (A Poem for Arbor Day)," by an unknown author.

"The tree we plant in years becomes a monarch old and gray," Spevak read. "And thousands from unbuilt homes will bless our Arbor Day."

Mayor Mike Villalta served as the day's emcee at Meadowlands Park, and read a proclamation marking the date and thanking the Parks and Recreation Department.

The Los Banos Jazz Band played several selections, including "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" and "Tequila."

The top three finishers in each grade from a primary school art contest picked saplings to take home.

España's Southwest Bar and Grill and California Dairies also received awards for tree-related efforts. Paul Cardoza, the Parks and Recreation operations manager, said the awards are given annually to people and businesses that go "above and beyond" regular tree maintenance.

"The Tree Committee selected these people that are very much involved in beautifying their area and their business," Cardoza said.

Several parks employees gave tree-planting demonstrations, and were assisted by area Girl, Boy and Cub Scouts.

Representatives from area politicians presented certificates to Parks and Recreation and noted that Arbor Day celebrations are a rarity in the region.

"We have a lot of cities in our district," Mia Brudnicki, a representative for Sen. Anthony Cannella said, "and not many of them celebrate Arbor Day."

Arbor Day Foundation, which started in 1972, surpassed more than 1 million members in 2010.

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanos

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanos

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