The Delaware Forest Service has published a new fifth edition of its popular “Big Trees of Delaware,” a comprehensive list of the largest trees covering nearly 80 native and non-native species in the First State. Featuring full-color photos and high-quality illustrations of tree leaves, the book is available as a print edition at state forest offices, as well as an online PDF version to be downloaded or viewed on a web browser. There is no cost for the book.
The Delaware Urban and Community Forestry Program has awarded more than $92,000 for 24 tree projects throughout the First State. Over the past 15 years, the annual grant program has provided more than $1.5 million to help communities increase tree canopy and promote the natural benefits of trees: cleaner air and water, increased property values and civic pride, and reduced storm water runoff and flooding.
Delaware celebrated Arbor Day in Dover, an annual occasion to highlight the many benefits of trees and encourage communities to plant more of them. The Delaware Forest Service hosted its annual Arbor Day Ceremony at Dover’s Schutte Park, honoring its school poster contest winners and recognizing Dover’s 30th Year as the First State’s longest-running Tree City USA. The event culminated with the planting of more than 30 large trees at six locations, including a zelkova on the historic Green on State Street. Delaware State University also held its Arbor Day event and celebrated its 8th consecutive year as Delaware’s only certified Tree Campus USA, followed by a ceremonial tree planting on campus.
Ellie Merrick, a 5th-grader at Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville, has been named the State Winner of the Delaware Forest Service’s 2019 Arbor Day Poster Contest. This year’s theme – “Trees Are Terrific…in Cities and Towns!” – was chosen to highlight the benefits of trees in our communities. Almost 100 years before Earth Day, Arbor Day was established on April 10, 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska. It is believed more than one million trees were planted on the first Arbor Day. In Delaware, Arbor Day is traditionally celebrated on the last Friday in April, which falls on April 26, 2019. This year, the Delaware Forest Service will help Dover celebrate its 30th Anniversary as a Tree City USA by planting more than 30 trees at parks and streets throughout the city.
The Delaware Forest Service will host its “23rd Annual Fire Camp” event at Blackbird State Forest (502 Blackbird Forest Road, Smyrna DE 19977) on Saturday, March 30 from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 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. State forest visitors should be advised that trail closures and other restrictions will be in effect for the event.