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Nashua gets head start on Arbor Day festivities

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent

April 20. 2017 8:01PM
At left, Paul Feldpausch, 9, of Sunset Heights Elementary School in Nashua helps plant a birch tree on Thursday during an early Arbor Day celebration. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

NASHUA — As part of the city’s early Arbor Day festivities, Nashua was once again designated as an official Tree City USA.

“Nashua is committed to maintaining and promoting urban trees,” said Scott Rolfe, community forester with the New Hampshire Division of Forest and Lands.

The Tree City USA program, co-sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service, recognizes cities for urban forestry.

While the city has been forced to cut down some of its aging trees, Nick Caggiano, superintendent of Nashua’s Department of Public Works’ parks and recreation division, said that it has planted 1,653 trees throughout Nashua since 2001.

Last fall, 30 shade trees were planted throughout the Tree Streets neighborhood to beautify the area — a project aimed to improve residential properties, increase livability and reduce heat in the summer.

“It is the ultimate recycled product in nature,” Caggiano said of trees, encouraging students at Sunset Heights Elementary School to take care of the trees in their neighborhoods.

The local school has been undergoing significant renovations, and on Thursday the students had an opportunity to plant several trees on the school property as part of its Arbor Day celebration — although a week early.

One of those trees included a Heritage River birch tree donated by Eversource Energy and provided by Shady Hill Nursery in Londonderry. Eversource also distributed Fraser fir saplings so that students will have an opportunity to grow trees at home.

“The city recognizes trees as a renewable and valuable resource that enhances the vitality and beauty of Nashua,” Mayor Jim Donchess said in a proclamation recognizing Arbor Day in the city.

The city currently has four large trees that have been cited as state champions because of their size, according to city staff. Donchess said he is honored that Nashua has once again been distinguished as a Tree City USA.

April 28 will mark the 145th celebration of Arbor Day, a holiday established in 1972 in Nebraska.

“Arbor Day is that one day every year reminding us to think about all that trees do for us — a day for reflection and for action,” Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation, said in a release. “On April 28, communities across the country will come together to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.”

According to the release, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted throughout the world in the past 44 years as part of various Arbor Day festivities and as a way to address issues such as air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation and more.

khoughton@newstote.com


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