For the fourth straight year the Town of Marana has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.
Tree City USA is a national recognition program that began in 1976, and is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters. Marana joins over 3,400 other cities and towns across America, and 29 cities and towns in Arizona as Tree Cities. Towns and cities that have received their Tree City USA recognition take pride in this distinction, and the people who live there enjoy the valuable benefits of having a greener, healthier community.
One of the requirements of being a Tree City USA is celebrating Arbor Day and the Town of Marana did that in several ways, including an official proclamation by the Marna Town Council at their April 16 meeting.
“Arbor Day is so important for the community, for the Town, and for the country. Trees bring so much to everybody, it is a beautiful thing to be under a nice shade tree,” said Marana Parks Superintendent Dave Herman.
Herman is the Chairman of the local Tree City Board, who is behind the Tree City Designation, and also a member of the Southern Arizona Arborist Group (SAAG).
On Wednesday Herman attended the State of Arizona Arbor Day Celebration. In addition to accepting this year’s award he and other representatives planted a Pistachio tree on the back lawn of the state capital museum.
The Town of Marana put its own Southern Arizona spin on this year’s Arbor Day celebration. Recently, Herman was able to relocate 20 saguaros from the construction site of the Dove Mountain Senior Living facility. While the building project is keeping many of the Saguaros, some had to be relocated and Herman and his crew took up the task.
This is the best time to harvest Saguaros because they are full of water after winter rains. It also makes it tricky to actually move them because the water makes them quite heavy. However, with all of this stored water they won’t be drought stricken before the summer monsoon hits.
In addition to the Saguaros, Herman also rescued five Fishhook barrel cactus, 50 Pincushion cactus and 30 Hedgehog cactus which will be in full bloom this month along the Town's new 2.5 miles of the Shared Use Path on the Santa Cruz between Gladden Farms to CalPortland. The new cacti were planted at the five rest stops along the path where they’ll get moisture from the tree irrigation.
The Town of Marana will be using these Saguaro plantings as part of their annual Tree City USA Arbor Day” celebration.
“We felt that this was unique to Southern Arizona as not too many Tree City USA member cities could do this kind of planting anywhere else in the United States,” said Marana Parks and Recreation Director Jim Conroy.
The Town of Marana has officially celebrated Arbor Day annually since 2006 with tree plantings involving volunteers, scouts, school groups, or special event attendees. Most of those years have included an Arbor Day Proclamation signed by the Mayor.