ONEONTA- The City of Oneonta hosted their annual Arbor Day celebration at the Historic Swart-Wilcox Park. Students from Riverside Elementary joined in on the fun by planting a white birch tree early Friday morning.
“It’s time to educate the youth,” said Jeffrey Bell, State Vegetation Expert. “It’s time to teach them about trees and how to care for them in the years to come.”
The City demonstrated to the kids the importance of caring for trees. Bell gave each student a mini tree to take care of. During the demonstration, the Mayor of Oneonta, Gary Herzig, shared with students how important their roles are in mother nature. He expressed to the students now is their time to shine.
“These young kids are going to be taking care of these trees,” said Herzig. “It is good for them to understand the importance of [Arbor Day] and what it stands for.”
After the students planted their tree, a special presentation took place behind the Swart-Wilcox House. At this presentation arborist, Craig Vollmer of Forecon, Inc. explained a new treatment to kill off the Emerald Ash Borer.
To protect against this insect, Vollmer injected an ash tree behind the house with a repellent to fight the Ash Borer.
“We are looking to do this for the next three years on these trees,” said James M. Hawver, Oneonta City Engineer. “We have to keep them as historic landmarks.”
The City of Oneonta will be planting more trees in the months to come. It is all part of a $142,000 grant from New York State.