By Jordan Puckett
Williamsburg Elementary held a tree fair Friday, May 10.
The students gathered in the cafeteria at the end of the day to learn about the importance of trees.
Following this, they returned to their classrooms and received a black gum tupelo sapling to plant at home. This is the same type of tree that was planted outside the school the day prior to the tree fair.
The village of Williamsburg places great importance on trees. This year marks the eighth consecutive year the village has earned the “Tree City” status.
According to the Arbor Day Foundation website, there are four requirements to be met to be a Tree City. The first is to have an established Tree Board. The second is to have a Tree Care Ordinance. The third is to have a Community Forestry Program with a budget of at least $2 per capita, and the fourth requirement is to have an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. Mayor Lefker said these requirements have been met every year.
In addition to these basic requirements, the Williamsburg Tree Board wants to go a step further. In a village council meeting on May 9, Mayor Lefker said the Tree Board would like to invite college universities to come to Williamsburg and take inventory of the village’s trees as a class project.
“It would help us figure out what we have, what we don’t have, and what we could have,” Mayor Lefker said.
The Tree Fair at the elementary school is another way the community is promoting its trees. Mayor Lefker was present for the event as well as two Tree Board members, Cassie Lefker and Denise DeMoss. Naturalist Keith Robinson from the Clermont County Park District gave the presentation.
Robinson provided the students with several examples of common products that come from trees. A few of his examples were paper, pencils, and fruit products. He also provided other benefits of trees including shade, heat, and their ability to take harmful carbon dioxide out of the environment and convert it to oxygen.
The kids at the school were excited to be getting a tree. Many of them remembered getting one last year and a large number of students said they still have them.
“We want to do something more permanent for the school and for the community,” Mayor Lefker said to the children. She urged them to go home and plant the trees in safe places.
“We value trees,” she said, “and we think it’s important to keep our treeline here in Williamsburg.”