Pleasant Hill holds its first ever Arbor Day tree planting celebration

By Sam Wildow

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PLEASANT HILL — The village of Pleasant Hill, in conjunction with Newton Local Schools, held its first ever Arbor Day Celebration with a tree planting outside of Newton Local Schools on Friday.

“Pleasant Hill is trying to be designated as a Tree City USA,” said Michael Waller, a member of Pleasant Hill’s Tree City USA Committee. As part of obtaining that designation, the village has made planting more trees and educating local students a priority.

Newton Local Schools Superintendent Pat McBride said the village maintenance supervisor, Drew Thiesing, took the initiative on this project and to have a tree planting outside of the school district where Thiesing was once a student.

As part of the tree planting, kindergarten classes took part in the ceremony. McBride said they plan to bring the students out there again once they are seniors to show them how the tree has grown.

“We hope to impart on them that this is a neat thing,” McBride said. The officials hope to give those students “an understanding that although trees are somewhat slow growing, they do grow over time, and they’re something really valuable,” McBride said.

Judy Barga, mayor of the village of Pleasant Hill, issued a proclamation during Pleasant Hill’s Arbor Day Celebration in honor of Arbor Day. She went over the history of Arbor Day and how it began in 1872.

“Arbor Day represents the hope for the future,” Barga told students. “The simple act of planting a tree represents the belief a tree will grow to provide us with clean air and water, cooling shade, habitat for wildlife … a healthier community, and endless natural beauty.”

“This is awesome,” Barga said about the village holding the Arbor Day Celebration in collaboration with Newton Local Schools. She added the village has received a number of donated trees, and the village hopes to plant them throughout the village in the coming weeks, as well as to freshen up the cemetery.