Nov. 6, 2015 — COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texans from across the state gathered today to honor all of the ways trees enrich lives and stabilize the environment during the State Arbor Day celebration at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station.

    The festivities closed out a year-long celebration of Texas A&M Forest Service’s centennial year and the "History in the Making: Texas A&M Forest Service" exhibit at the museum which chronicles the last 100 years of the agency.

    “It is fitting that we are here today at Texas A&M and the Bush Library to celebrate our 126th State Arbor Day and to thank Texas A&M Forest Service for its past 100 years of service, because we are not only celebrating the past, but we are also planning for the future,” John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System said.

    With shovels in hand, local and state officials ceremoniously put mulch around a newly-planted tree on the library grounds, formalizing the celebration and leaving a permanent mark commemorating the event. This winter, volunteers will plant 40 additional trees along Barbara Bush Drive as a tribute to George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the U.S., and his leadership in growing healthy, sustainable urban forests through the America the Beautiful Act.

    Texas A&M Forest Service provides statewide leadership to assure the state's trees, forests and related natural resources are protected and sustained for the benefit of all.

    “Tree planting always points us toward tomorrow and it is especially meaningful knowing the solid foundation of service we are planting and building upon. What better way to end one century of service and kickoff the next for our agency than by planting a tree and celebrating Arbor Day,” Tom Boggus, director of Texas A&M Forest Service said.

    Arbor Day, above all, presents a tremendous opportunity to teach fundamental lessons about stewardship of our natural resources and caring for our environment. It is a day to look forward with promise for a future filled with trees. Over 1,000 bur oak seedlings were handed out giving those who will plant them the opportunity to provide shade and environmental benefits to others for years to come.

    Under the leadership of the Texas Forestry Association, Texas first observed Arbor Day in 1889, celebrating the benefits that trees provide over a lifetime. The annual state celebration is held in a different city each year on the first Friday in November.


    Note: Photos on Flickr

    Brooke Catalena, bcatalena@tfs.tamu.edu, 979-324-0708