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SHERIDAN — In honor of City Tree Day, crews planted 56 trees Friday at the new Kendrick Park Arboretum, located south of the Trail End Historic Site. Sheridan City Council proclaimed Friday as City Tree Day to be celebrated in conjunction with the state of Wyoming’s Official Arbor Day Monday.
An arboretum is a collection of trees planted for scientific and educational purposes. In order to improve species diversity in Wyoming, 28 different species of trees were planted. Each tree will include signs to identify the tree and offer information to admirers and people looking for landscaping inspiration.
“For me, I’ve always enjoyed walking up in that area,” Councilor Alex Lee said. “I love hearing the birds, I love hearing the laughter in Kendrick Park, and adding these trees is just going to add to the experience. I feel it is very important to have a tree day and to continue to be a tree city.”
Several local groups — Sheridan College, Whitney Benefits, the state forestry department, Wyoming Girls School, the county extension office, private tree firms, junior high and high school students, and parks and cemetery staff — helped with planting, according to city Parks Division Manager Chuck Carbert.
A variety of trees was planted, including maple, oak, aspen, douglas fir, Kentucky coffeetree and tamaracks, which are a wetland tree and are serving as an experiment in the arboretum. The trees ranged in size from 1.5-inch trunks to 2.5-inch trunks, with some sporting a 200 to 300 pound root ball.
The choice of location for the arboretum was easy, Carbert said. When the Kendrick family lived in the mansion, they tried to plant every type of tree that was available for the Sheridan area on their land.
“We thought it would be a great place to put an arboretum because we would be carrying on the mission they started,” Carbert said.
According to the proclamation signed by Mayor Dave Kinskey, the first Arbor Day was declared by J. Sterling Morton in 1872. That year, the Nebraska Board of Agriculture planted more than one million trees in Nebraska. Arbor Day is now celebrated around the world.
Trees reduce erosion, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate temperature, clean the air, produce life-giving oxygen and provide habitat for wildlife. Trees also serve as a renewable resource for paper and wood.
“I urge all citizens to celebrate Tree Day and to support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands, and, further, I urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the well-being of this and future generations,” Kinskey stated in his proclamation.
The arboretum was funded in part with a Wyoming State Forestry Division grant. The Sheridan Tree Board will develop educational signs.