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Arbor Day 2014
Mike Zarichnak, dressed the part, was known to use all manner of creativity in helping children foster a love of plants and trees.
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Photos courtesy of Jennifer Gregory.
Arbor Day 2014 Mayor
er Mayor Gary Ivey during Hoover’s 2013 Arbor Day celebration.
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Arbor Day tree planting
Arbor Day Activities • March 8 • Aldridge Gardens
9:30 a.m.: Tree giveaway (for Hoover residents and businesses)
10:30 a.m.: Arbor Day ceremony featuring fourth-grade essay contest winners
11:00 a.m.: Mike Zarichnak dedication
11:15 a.m.: Ceremonial tree planting
Spring fever, thanks to the unexpected January ice storm, is at an all-time high in the City of Hoover. For her part, Mary Ross Searcy of the Hoover Beautification Board couldn’t be happier.
“We want everyone in Hoover to know they need to go the extra mile this year in their spring landscaping,” she said. “What better way to do that than by participating in our annual Arbor Day festivities?”
Event co-chairs Jennifer Gregory and Judy Thompson have lined up a morning’s worth of events, which take place on Saturday, March 8, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Aldridge Gardens. At that time, City Forester Colin Conner will be on hand to oversee the city’s annual tree giveaway.
Always an event highlight, the first hour of the morning allows for Hoover residents and business owners to peruse a robust selection of tree species, and then choose one to take and plant at their home or business, compliments of the city of Hoover.
“At past celebrations, we’ve provided mostly native tree species that covered a broad range of sizes in hopes of delivering a semi-custom fit for Hoover homes and/or businesses,” Conner said. “Our 2014 list will likely include at least some of the following species: tree sparkleberry, crab apple, redbud, flowering dogwood, blueberry, hawthorn, fringe tree, common persimmon, sassafras, red cedar, black gum, bald cypress, miscellaneous oaks, and maybe a yellow poplar or two.”
At 10:30, the event will move indoors for the Arbor Day essay winners ceremony. The event will recognize the most outstanding student essays (submitted by fourth-grade students from Hoover City Schools) that explore the theme of how and why trees are important to the local community.
“We aspire each year to celebrate at each school but haven’t quite met that mark,” Conner said. “We typically celebrate at 10 to 12 schools and are proud to do so.”
Following the Arbor Day essay winner ceremony, event organizers have planned a special dedication in memory of Mike Zarichnak, a Hoover Beautification Board member who passed away Sept. 27, 2013. Zarichnak had a long history of service both with the Arbor Committee and the Grants/Horticulture Committee of the Hoover Beautification Board. Event co-chair Jennifer Gregory said the city’s Arbor Day activities exist in large part due to his vision and passion.
“Mike was very instrumental in the Arbor Day ceremony and school tree planting for the past 15 years,” Gregory said. “He was big on beautification but also very passionate about education. When he planted the trees, Mike was always very diligent in explaining how he did what he did and why. We, the City of Hoover, have greatly benefited from Mike’s involvement through a more beautiful and knowledgeable city and schools.”