CUTTEN- Arbor Day, which is Latin for “Tree Day”, is celebrated on the last Friday of April. On Wednesday, students in the Cutten Elementary School District celebrated early.
For the celebration of the 142nd annual Arbor Day later this month, students from Cutten Elementary School and Ridgewood Elementary School as well as their families got to enjoy a special day dedicated to celebrating the forest and learning about a person’s role in keeping the forest healthy. Exhibits and hands-on activities were set up with topics ranging from counting tree rings to learning about banana slugs. Some family members brought their pets as well.
"The students enjoy it every year. They learn a lot. We have a lot of professionals that come from the community," said Brenda Yarnall, a 4th grade teacher at Cutten Elementary School.
Professionals including representatives with Green Diamond Resource Company who discussed what they do on a daily basis, U.S. Forest Service officials who spoke about forest fires and how to help prevent them, and of course, Smokey Bear.
"Arbor day is just great because you get to just celebrate nature and it's just a day to be happy," said Leah Nelson, a 4th grade student at Cutten Elementary School
"I think it's a lot of fun and I like celebrating this sort of thing because it's fun to do things to help save the trees," said Cole Petrusha, a 6th grade student at Cutten Elementary School.
School officials say the Arbor Day celebration holds even more significance for students on the North Coast.
"Look where we live. We live in the midst of some of the most beautiful country in the world with the trees and it's important for these kids to understand our role in the forests and how to be good stewards of the forest," said Julie Osborne, the Principal of Cutten Elementary School and the Superintendent of the Cutten Elementary School District.
Cutten Elementary School District officials also say the celebration is an experience they hope will stick with the children for the rest of their lives.
"I think that days like this are the things that build real memories for children and where they learn some life lessons,"Yarnall said.
"We have people that have come back to teach here and they say, 'Oh, yeah, I remember Arbor Day.’ And, we'll have parents who come back. Lots of parents who attended here and have their children attend and they talk about Arbor Day," Osborne said.
Keeping the forest healthy for future generations.