Students at Patricia "Kay" Beaver Elementary School helped the city and school district hail the value of trees during the annual Arbor Day Celebration held Wednesday, May 13.
Students also learned that for the 22nd time, city of Ceres was designated the title of Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.
The wiggly student body patiently sat through a reading of the city Arbor Day proclamation by Mayor Chris Vierra as well as a recitation of the benefits. But most were thinking about recreation employee Traci Farris who mentioned she would be doling out refreshments at the end of the ceremony. Those were doled out by members of the Ceres Garden Club.
Vierra said the city takes care of 15,000 street trees and park trees.
Ceres has met the four points of criteria to be dubbed Tree City USA:
• Have a tree board or department that plants and maintains trees;
• Host an annual Arbor Day observance;
• Adopt and enforce a tree care ordinance;
• Budget a program that allocates at least $2 per resident for the care of city trees.
Prior to the ceremony, the K-6 students were asked to be a part of an Arbor Day poster contest. Winners of the contest were announced at the ceremony.
Students were told that trees help cleanse the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat, and absorbing such pollutants as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Trees remove this air pollution by lowering air temperature, through respiration, and by retaining particulates.
The ceremony ended with the planting of two Scarlet Oak trees which will provide shade for many future generations at Ceres' newest school.
During the first Arbor Day observance in 1872, a million trees were planted in Nebraska.