Mocksville again a Tree City USA

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

The sun was shining brightly as students from Mocksville Elementary School walked across Cemetery Street to Rich Park.

But when they reached their destination, there was shade. The old-growth trees near the shelter provided that.

It was an appropriate setting for Mocksville’s annual Arbor Day celebration. And for the 31st consecutive year, the town qualified as a Tree City USA.

And the students helped the town’s parks staff plant five redbud trees.

“Trees are very important,” Mayor Will Marklin told the students. “If we didn’t have trees, think of how hot that playground equipment would be, how less pretty the park would be.”

He encouraged the students to plant a tree at home, but first they were invited to help the staff plant those redbuds. Director Chris Vaughn, Lefty Stewart and Donnie Simmons, as well as NC Forest Service Davie ranger James Bentley, guided the students through the steps in planting a tree, from digging the right sized hole, to loosening the root ball, adding soil and then topping with mulch.

Bentley presented the town with its official Tree City USA distinction.

Arbor Day began in 1872 with the planting of more than 1 million trees in barren Nebraska.

“Trees can be a solution to combating climate change by reducing the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, cutting heating and cooling costs, moderating the temperature, cleaning the air, producing life-giving oxygen, and providing habitat for wildlife,” Marklin said, reading from an official town proclamation.

“Trees in our city increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas, and beautify our community,” he read. “Trees – wherever they are planted – are a source of joy and spiritual renewal.”