Music, essays, plantings mark Arbor Day PAYING TRIBUTE TO TREES

NEIGHBORS

April 12, 1995|By PAT BRODOWSKI

Carroll County's Arbor Day on April 5 was a day to honor trees by music and essay, recognize planting by local communities and plant a King's elm, Hampstead's town tree, at Spring Garden Elementary School.

To inspire a future of tree planting, the second and fourth grades of Spring Garden Elementary were invited to sing and plant a tree and shrubs. They enjoyed the arrival of Captain Seaweed, the giant, green-faced nautical mascot of the Chesapeake Bay, who gave away buttons and stickers at the event, which was sponsored by the Hampstead Tree Commission.

Walter S. Orlinsky, director of TREEmendous Maryland, illustrated the value of replanting trees in the state with a concise forest history.

"If every environmental law worked perfectly, and if every environmental widget worked perfectly, the quality of water in the Chesapeake Bay would still decline," he said. "The reason is very old.

"When John Smith met Pocahontas, about 98 percent of Maryland was covered with trees. The British Navy was in need of wood, and not only Maryland, but from Virginia through Maine, the trees were taken down, to the extent that in Maryland, we have only 1,200 acres that have never seen the saw.

"Trees are nature's best single environmental moderator," he said. "They take carbon from the air. The next time you take a deep breath, thank a tree."

TREEmendous Maryland began five years ago and has since established more than 5 million trees and seedlings in Maryland, Mr. Orlinsky said.

The program also has encouraged planting on public open space. One project has been landscaping to permit 85 percent less mowing of state highway medians, which permits natural regeneration of plant life and "has created a healthier and prettier state," he said.

He mentioned that in Carroll County, the change from open farmland to landscaped housing communities is a means of re-establishing lost woodlands.

"Farming requires a treeless landscape," he said. "Carroll County used to be the county with the least number of trees per acre, including Baltimore City."

"Tree Cities" Hampstead, Manchester, and Westminster were presented awards by Jeff Horan, the Maryland Forest Service's regional forester. Jacqueline Hyatt received the award for Hampstead's tree commission; Jessica DeCesare, for Westminster's; and Charlotte Collett, for Manchester's.

Each tree commission received a yellow flag award for being a Maryland Plant Community and a national Tree City USA award.

Manchester received the highest Tree City USA award this year. The town will hold its own Arbor Day celebration May 1.

Second-graders at the school sang the Russian folk song "Grey Birch Tree" with accompanying flute by instrumental teacher Karen Rogers and string accompaniment on the Russian prime, an instrument similar to the balalaika, by choral teacher Mary Smaligo. Students also sang "Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree."

Second-grade students who won the Arbor Day essay contest at Spring Garden were introduced by Councilwoman Jackie Hyatt. Each student received an Arbor Day T-shirt created by students at Elmer Wolfe Elementary.

"If someone cuts one tree down, please plant another," wrote student Kevin Newkirk.

"The purpose of Arbor Day is to make places beautiful with trees," wrote Timothy Mosher, "and you can make anyone happy with trees."

Other contest winners included Daniel Wahl, Laura Shaefer, Candice Roe and Kevin Singer.

Concluding the morning's activities, fourth-grade students took trowels outdoors to assist in planting a King's elm donated by King's Tree Farm of Hampstead and several winterberry holly bushes donated by Clear Ridge Nursery of Union Bridge. Greg Zielske of Zielske Landscaping, a member of the Hampstead Tree Commission, directed the student effort.

Others who attended the event included Hampstead Mayor C. Clinton Becker; New Windsor Mayor Jack Gullo; County Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown; members of the Manchester, Hampstead and Westminster tree commissions; representatives of the Maryland Forest Service and TREEmendous Maryland; and many citizens and school staff members.

*

"Ballooning is always an adventure," said Jim Duncan, of Jacobstown, N.J., pilot of Cloud 9, the rainbow-striped hot air balloon that skimmed the pond at Robert's Field to touch down near the model homes Saturday.

"We just wanted to fly," said his companion pilot, Ian Foy of Towson, "so we took off at sunrise."

Another balloon touched down at pond-side and a third in a farm field off Black Rock Road. The pilots were Tom Raglan of Pennsylvania and Mark Schilling of Morristown, New Jersey.

They all were in area skies to celebrate "The Really Big Show" at the Inner Harbor on Friday.

Saturday morning, the threesome headed from Oregon Ridge more or less to Hampstead, following not the path of any crow's flight but the prevailing winds.

Mr. Foy and Mr. Duncan have floated up and down the East Coast together for about 15 years. Mr. Duncan also races balloons in "fox and hound" style competitions.

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