Champion Tree announcement to come after Earth Day/Arbor Day Festival

SEBASTIAN – The Natural Resources Board decided to make Champion Tree announcements several weeks after its targeted April 23 date.  The announcements were supposed to be made during Sebastian’s annual Earth Day/Arbor Day Festival in Riverview Park.

“I don’t see from a scheduling standpoint how we could get it done before Earth Day,” said Natural Resources Board Member Tara Howe.  “Even if we did the measuring this week, it would be very hard to get done because of how the process works.”

The four-person board has six trees to fit the measuring of six Champion Tree candidates into an already hectic spring schedule.  The measuring process for each tree takes roughly an hour from start to finish.

“I don’t see any way around pushing back the Champion Tree announcement,” said Natural Resource Board Member Robin Graves.  “If it’s not feasible, it’s not feasible.  We’ll measure three May 10 and three May 17.”

The board understands how important Champion Tree is to Sebastian, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary as a Tree City.

“I know some of the people are anxiously awaiting us to come out and look at their trees,” said Natural Resource Board Member Jane Schnee.

There is a process which must be followed in awarding a Champion Tree.

“The (Champion Tree) applications come through the Natural Resources Board, and we process them,” said Howe.  “We then measure the trees, and then make a recommendation to Sebastian City Council.  The city council then gives the award”

The Natural Resource Board will make sure Champion Tree is mentioned at the Earth Day/Arbor Day celebration.

“We’ll have the DJ make an announcement that the Champion Tree contest is to be continued,” said Graves.  “He’ll tell everyone that awards will be given out at a future Sebastian City Council meeting.”

The official Earth Day is Friday, April 22. However, the city will celebrate it April 23 at Riverview Park.  That event starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.

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