Alaina Wilson plans to plant hers in her front yard, while with Logan Waller it will be a couple feet away from his house.
J’necia Penamon will keep hers away from her backyard, where the dogs might get it. For Hollie Larkin it will go right beside some Japanese plum trees.
Austin Shiver has elaborate plans for his, precisely how he will landscape around it. Olivia Monod’s will be rooted at her father’s house, and Bradley Lee’s at his grandmother’s sprawling acreage.
The planting of these sabal palm seedlings comes about in the lives of these 125 Franklin County fourth graders thanks to an Arbor Day 2013 planting outreach sponsored and funded locally by the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District.
On Friday morning, fourth graders at the Franklin County School, Apalachicola Bay Charter School and First Baptist Christian School were all treated to a ceremonial planting on their campus of the sabal palm (Sabal palmetto), first designated in 1953 as Florida’s official state tree and since 1970 a part of Florida’s official seal.
Designated as official Fourth Grade Foresters, students from the three schools were each given a seedling to take home and plant in their neighborhood.
The Arbor Day planting is a part of a nationwide “Drive to Revive Arbor Day” organized by the Fourth Grade Foresters USA. It was also held in conjunction with Viva Florida 500, which marks the 500th anniversary of the Spanish exploration of the state.
“It is a great opportunity to support the county’s various elementary education programs, and involve a new generation in becoming responsible stewards of our environment here in paradise,” said Dr. John Sink, who made a personal visit to all three campuses to tout the program.
The first Arbor Day on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska is attributed to the work of Julius Sterling Morton, a member of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture. In 1970, President Richard Nixon proclaimed the last Friday in April as National Arbor Day. Today, all 50 states celebrate Arbor Day although the date may vary in keeping with local climate and planting recommendations, such as in Florida on the third Friday in January.