Arbor Day underscores the true value of trees

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Oxford celebrated Arbor Day on Oct 20, as proclaimed by Mayor Robyn Tannehill and backed by aldermen Rick Addy, Kesha Howell Atkinson, Jason Bailey, Mark Huelse, Brian Hyneman, John Morgan and Preston E. Taylor at the most recent Board of Aldermen meeting Oct 17. This tradition, echoing a national observance dating back to 1882, has been a part of Oxford’s local culture since the establishment of the Tree Board in 1997.

The annual celebration underscores the pivotal role of trees in augmenting the city’s scenic beauty, bolstering long-term property values, encouraging quality development, and revitalizing the economic vitality of business districts. Furthermore, trees are lauded for their ability to mitigate erosion, lessen heating and cooling expenses, moderate temperature extremes, and purify the air.

Oxford’s public policy is strongly inclined towards preserving large, mature trees, significantly contributing to the city’s charm, beauty, and unique character. The resolution emphasizes not merely the planting of new trees, but also the vital care and preservation of existing ones, underscoring both as essential for urban forest stewardship.

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Tannehill and the aldermen urged all Oxford citizens to actively engage in safeguarding the urban forest canopy. They called upon the community to contribute towards the well-being of the trees, ensuring a thriving green legacy for current and future generations.

The observance of Arbor Day today not only resonates locally but also echoes a national call to action, reminding communities nationwide of the continuous efforts required to nurture and expand urban forests. Through communal engagement and educational outreach on this significant day, Oxford aims to set a precedent in promoting environmental sustainability and cherishing its natural resources.