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Nine years of plantings lead to ‘Growth Award’

By Staff | May 2, 2016

BARB BARRETT/The Luminary Far left, Mayor John Ort celebrated Arbor Day on Friday, April 29 and made that day an official Muncy Tree City USA. With him are home and cyber school children from the Muncy area and Alicia Myers, President of the Muncy Shade Tree Commission.

MUNCY – It was a very historical moment that presented itself to Muncy to celebrate the annual tradition of Arbor Day. On Friday afternoon at Muncy’s Heritage Park, several students who are homeschooled in Muncy came together with the Muncy Shade Tree Commission, the Muncy Historical Society, the Muncy Borough, Mayor Ort and the public to honor Muncy’s ninth consecutive year as a Tree City USA.

Nella Storm, former Shade Tree Commission President presented the “Growth Award” to Alicia Myers, new President and Commission members, Selinda Kennedy, Ed Costello, and Gary Williams. Mayor John Ort read a proclamation dedicating Muncy as an official Muncy Tree USA on April 29, 2016. He urged all citizens to plant trees to “gladden the heartbring a source of joy and spiritual renewal. Not only do they increase property values but beautify the community.”

Storm pointed out the various trees in the Park that were planted by the tree commission and remarked to the children how important it was to plant a variety. “Vary them as much a possible. There are specific trees for specific locations.” Some trees will control pollution such as the Sycamore and London Plain trees. “The average tree takes fifty pounds of pollution each year,” Storm said. “At one time there were mostly sugar Maples in Muncy,” and added, “However they do not like salt and that is what they put on the roads in winter.” Now there is a variety of plantings in case of blight or disease. “More interesting, beautiful trees are planted that add more personality to Muncy.”

The Muncy Shade Tree Commission reported to the children on what they do for the trees in the Muncy Borough, such as the curb and street plantings, the maintenance of the shade trees, pest control, and inspections. “We insure safety. We look at size, kind, and the health and beauty of the tree during inventory.” The trees of Muncy create a “beautiful tree canopy” and the Commission is well on their way to planting 500 trees since 2007.

A Ginko tree will be the next planting this month along a curbside on South Market Street. Ten year old Patrick Zalonis who lives in front of the property said he likes the idea of having a forest around his house. “I want them to be 20 feet apart and have their own space,” he commented. The home schooler said he wants to be an explorer and discover new plants and animals.

BARB BARRETT/The Luminary Former Shade Tree Commission President, Nella Storm (far left) presented the Muncy Tree City USA 'Growth Award' to the commission: Alicia Myers, current president and members Selinda Kennedy, Ed Costello and Gary Williams.

As part of the dedication, a poem was written and read by 13 year old Emily McMichael who wants to be a professional writer. Her title was “A New Generation” as she reflected upon the trees “with their majestic arms stretching in the sky.”

Funding comes from the state and the generous support of donors and sponsors according to Myers.

Funding can also come from the growth award and Myers was also very appreciative for the “generous stipend” from Muncy Bank & Trust. She handed out booklets on the “Common Trees of Pennsylvania” to each of the children who also got a tour of the packet boat from Bill Poulton of the Muncy Historical Society.

BARB BARRETT/The Luminary Home schooler Emily McMichael from Muncy wrote and read a poem to the Muncy Shade Tree Commission in honor of Arbor Day Friday afternoon, April 29, at the Heritage Park.