Two flowering cherry trees are the newest additions to Veterans Park.
In honor of Arbor Day, Mayor Sam Teresi led a community celebration Thursday at Veterans Park. The city of Jamestown has, for the 32nd consecutive year, earned national recognition as a Tree City USA Community by the Arbor Day Foundation.
The city also received its fourth Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating progress in its community forestry program. The award honors environmental improvements and higher levels of tree care in Tree City USA communities.
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi, left, celebrates Arbor Day at Veterans Park on Thursday.
P-J photos by Liz Skoczylas
According to Dan Stone, city arborist, Jamestown is the second-longest running city to achieve these honors. In order to mark the city's achievement, a kwanzan flowering cherry tree was planted, as well as a royal burgundy cherry tree.
"They are both very similar in size and shape," Stone said. "They both have a large double pink flower in the springtime. The main difference is the royal burgundy will have a purpleish colored leaf all throughout the summer."
Stone said he received a phone call last year from Ron Cotton, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Commission, saying there was a group interested in planting trees in the park.
"That's all I had to hear," Stone said. "About a week later, Susan Rowley, president of the Blue Star Mothers New York Chapter Four, called me and we decided to get together to see what we could do to come up with a tree-planting idea for the park."
The group decided the flowering trees would be the best way to honor veterans while adding to the beauty of the park. Stone said five more trees will be planted over the next several weeks.
"We want to thank the National Arbor Day Foundation for their continued recognition and confidence, not just in this city and the city government, but the entire Jamestown community," said Teresi.
According to Teresi, in 2012 there were 172 stumps removed from the city, as well as 185 dying or diseased trees taken down. And, in 2012, Teresi said 203 new trees were planted throughout the city.
"Just as anybody or anything has its lifespan, so does a tree," Teresi said. "Our planting-to-removal ratio, we're still staying ahead of the game. That's an important part of us maintaining that Tree City USA designation for 32 consecutive years."
Everyone in attendance at the tree-planting had the opportunity to shovel dirt to help plant the new trees at Veteran's Park.