In Hamlet, Arbor Day is whenever the shovel-bearing ladies of the Tree and Beautification Group say it is. And this year, that will be Friday, April 13.
The 2018 celebration will be at 1:30 p.m. at Hamlet’s Main Street Park, where the children of Monroe Avenue Elementary School’s “conservation rangers” will join beautification group members in planting three Vitex agnus-castus, also known as “chaste trees.”
The theme of this year’s celebration is “Trees Are for Bees,” which marks both the role of flowering trees and bees in maintaining the world’s food supply by pollination. (You wouldn’t think a chaste tree would be involved in such shenanigans.)
“Some of these kids, they’ve never dug a whole” before becoming conservation rangers who nurse saplings into plantable young trees, group member Sue Furman said Tuesday.
But since the early 2000s, children in grades three through five at Monroe Avenue Elementary have potted, fertilized and then sold some of their trees. Others, they have planted — at the Hamlet Public Library, the Hamlet Senior Center and at the intersection of Battley Dairy Road and N.C. 177.
The April 13 program will feature an appearance by Mayor Bill Bayless and an address by N.C. Forest Service Ranger Matt Parker. Monroe Avenue fifth-graders also will find out which of them created the best Arbor Day flag for the event, in order to win as much as $25.
As ever, city workers will stand by to assist, Furman said.
“Most of our members are women,” she said — “not that we can’t dig a hole!”
For non-Hamlet residents, Arbor Day will be April 27.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or [email protected]