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During Salida City Council’s regular meeting on May 4, council members approved a proclamation that declares May 13 as Arbor Day in the city. As many community members know, Salida loves and protects its trees. May 13, 2021 marks the 34th year of Salida’s designation as a  “Tree City USA”.

In celebration of Arbor Day, at 1:45 p.m. on May 13, Deb Colgate’s fourth class from Longfellow Elementary will help Curtis Milstein of Colorado Sticks and Stones plant a tree at 318 Poncha Boulevard.  Afterward, Mayor P.T. Wood will read the Arbor Day proclamation.

Community members are encouraged to join the students and learn with them how to properly plant a tree.  Salida tree lovers are invited to contribute to the cost to purchase and plant the Arbor Day tree.  Contributions may be mailed to the Salida Tree Board at 448 East First Street, Suite 112, Salida, CO 81201.

The Colorado Tree Coalition notes that Arbor Day is an opportunity to celebrate how trees improve people’s lives and communities as well as how trees are a living asset. Trees are on the job 24 hours every day working for everyone to improve the environment and our quality of life.

The trees within urban forests improve the air, protect the water, save energy, and improve economic sustainability.  They also help to reduce the impacts of climate change, benefit wildlife, and increase property values.  Unfortunately, Salida’s tree-lined streetscapes are disappearing as trees are being lost to old age, neglect, and street and sidewalk projects.

Image by Dayso. Courtesy of unsplash

Through the Adopt-a-Tree Program, a total of more than 300 trees have been planted in the city rights-of-way since 1999.  The adopters have agreed to be responsible for watering the trees and paid a small portion of the cost to purchase and plant the trees, with the remainder of the cost coming from that portion of the city budget allocated to the Salida Tree Board.

In 2020, twenty trees were planted in the city rights-of-way. all are being cared for by the adjacent homeowners.

The Salida Tree Board is a group of citizens who work with city staff to care for the city’s urban forest.  Community members who enjoy trees and would like to learn more about the Salida trees or help to care for the younger trees in town are encouraged to call 719-539-9195 for more information.

Featured image: Trees blossom at 9th and F Streets in Salida. Merrell Bergin photo