Governor Markell joined state officials and members of the General Assembly to honor the winners of the Delaware Forest Service’s annual Arbor Day Poster Contest, recognize the City of Dover as the First State’s longest-running Tree City USA, and honor Delmarva Power as a Tree Line USA utility and for its volunteer work in underwriting the cost of Arbor Day observances throughout the state.
Rain Vasey, a 5th-grader at Water Girl Farm Academy in Lincoln, is the winner of the 2016 Arbor Day School Poster Contest. The Delaware Forest Service sponsors the contest for Delaware schoolchildren in grades K to 5 for all public, private, home, and charter schools. The winners receive a tree planting at their school, a gift card, a tree-themed book, and an invitation for them and their family to attend the State Arbor Day event with Governor Markell on May 12
A total of 15 municipalities, homeowner associations, and nonprofits will receive almost $40,000 for community tree projects from the Delaware Forest Service’s 2016 Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program. The program’s goal is to increase tree canopy, beautify community spaces, and promote the benefits of trees. In addition, the Delaware Forest Service also funded $10,799 in grants for tree planting projects within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, an effort to improve water quality by mitigating storm water run-off and reducing erosion and sedimentation.
The Delaware Forest Service’s 21st Annual Fire Camp will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at Redden State Forest from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. The intensive, one-day seminar is the capstone of the agency’s wildfire training program to certify its emergency firefighters to meet National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards.
In addition to completing an arduous “work capacity test” – which involves carrying a 45-pound pack over a three-mile course in less than 45 minutes – crew members will receive hands-on instruction in several key areas: wildfire suppression techniques, how weather affects fire behavior, crew mobilization and teamwork, water pump and chainsaw usage, and culminating with a “live” controlled burn fire situation.
Daniel J. Tartt, Jr. of Harrington was honored as Delaware’s 2016 Tree Farmer of the Year at the Delaware Forestry Association’s annual meeting in Felton. The Middletown FFA forestry team – comprised of students Alana Hodge, Lauren Berry, Brandon Dawson, Laura Melancon and their advisor Jeff Billings – was also recognized for representing Delaware and placing highly in the team and individual FFA forestry event at the 88th National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, KY.
Silver Anniversary Tree Farmers Carl Solberg, George & Gladys Kirk, and David Hastings were honored for celebrating 25 years in the American Tree Farm System. On hand to present awards were Rep. David L. Wilson and Rep. Harvey Kenton.
The event also celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the American Tree Farm System’s founding in 1941. Delaware’s first Tree Farm was certified in 1959 and today there are over 200 Tree Farms covering more than 20,000 acres.
Governor Markell delivered a video message (YouTube: https://youtu.be/7YIB5MqANbs ) to congratulate the Delaware Forestry Association and recognize the award winners for 2016.
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