PHOTO GALLERY: Dowagiac proclaims Friday Arbor Day – Leader Publications

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DOWAGIAC – As the branches around town begin to blossom and bloom, a local municipal government has recognized the importance of trees in the community.

At its regular meeting on Monday, Dowagiac City Council proclaimed the last Friday in April Arbor Day and declared the importance of trees to the town and its residents.

“Trees reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, reduce heating and cooling costs, moderate temperatures, purify the air, produce vital oxygen and provide habitat for the wildlife,” Mayor Don Lyons said in the proclamation. “Trees in our city increase property values [and] strengthen the economic vitality of the areas of activity.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872, after a Nebraska city newspaper editor and tree enthusiast, Julius Sterling Morton, proposed a holiday of tree planting at the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture. Morton reportedly led an effort to plant a million trees that day. Today, Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states.

Dowagiac is recognized as a tree town, USA, and has been recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation as the first “Dogwood Tree City USA,” according to the proclamation.

“Trees, wherever planted, are a source of joy and renewal,” Lyons said, in the proclamation. “I urge all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day and support efforts to protect our trees and forests, and I urge all citizens to plant and foster trees to promote the well-being of this generation and future generations.”

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