Saturday was a beautiful Arbor Day for live music and festivities in Tracy Park. Portsmouth Shade Tree Commission and the Scioto County Soil and Water Conservation District joined together for a second year to celebrate Arbor Day as well as Portsmouth’s Tree City designation.
“We started this as just a way to celebrate the good things and the good works that are done in our community,” Kate Sowards with Soil and Water stated. “Portsmouth is a Tree City, which is a wonderful designation. And, when you drive around, you see it in our trees.”
There was plenty of education including interesting tree facts that were placed throughout the park. Sowards explained that trees have both economical and environmental benefits.
“Communities with more trees experience less vandalism, less theft and less crime,” the enthusiast explained. “It’s a strange phenomenon that has been studied for years.”
The event stayed busy throughout the day. City Clerk Diana Ratliff estimated that there were nearly 500 attendees within a couple hours.
Over the drumming of the local drum circle, Ratliff explained that music had gone on all day and including not only the drum circle but also the National Anthem sang by Portsmouth Elementary School, a preview of their upcoming 101 Dalmatians set for May 5 and 6 and music by Steve Free.
“We have had all kinds of vendors,” Ratliff added.
Booths were set up by the Main Street Farmers Market, Glockners, Portsmouth Shade Tree Commission (who gave out 125 trees), Shawnee State University (who gave out trees students raised), the Goodwill truck, various garden clubs, Boy Scout troops (who did some recycling and the Portsmouth Municipal Court (who was taking volunteers for the annual City cleanup in June.
“We’ve had some very exciting things throughout the day,” Ratliff concluded. “It’s been non-stop.”
Sowards added that are was excited to see that the event was such a success.
“When we started this, we wanted to raise awareness and celebrate, and now in the second year you can see that same spirit is still here,” she commented.
Portsmouth’s Tree City designation comes through the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program which works to encourage urban forestry development. To earn the designation, cities must be committed to maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1930.