With spring in the air, Mayor Michael Alvarez and the Indian Trail Parks & Recreation Department are setting their sights on a number of environmentally focused celebrations and events in April.
This year’s Mayor’s Tree Education Initiative – where Mayor Alvarez and staff discuss tree and environment education with local students – will visit nine elementary schools throughout April. The team will speak with more than 40 fourth-grade classrooms and more than 900 students, discussing tips to help the environment and preserve the tree canopy. Students will learn about different types of trees native to our area, the benefits of trees to our region and how they can protect the environment regardless of how old they are.
This is the program’s seventh year, and Town representatives have worked with some 5,500 students over the years. Each student receives their own tree sapling to plant at home.
“Not only are we working with our local teachers to educate our students on the importance of the tree canopy to our present and future, but we are strengthening the canopy one tree at a time by providing a sapling to every fourth-grader,” Indian Trail Special Events Coordinator Hayden Kramer said. “We’ll also continue our tradition of planting trees at every campus we visit this year, helping to beautify our schools while also allowing students to receive first-hand training on how to care for their trees at home.”
The Town will plant 18 Autumn Blaze maple trees, with two each at the following schools: Sun Valley, Indian Trail, Shiloh, Porter Ridge, Poplin, Antioch and Sardis elementary schools, and Metrolina Christian and Union Preparatory academies.
The effort, combined with other initiatives the Town has undertaken throughout the years, has again earned Indian Trail the designation as a Tree City USA from the Arbor Day Foundation. The Town also received a Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating environmental improvement and a higher level of tree care.
“This program is of the utmost importance for us, and it has been incredible to see the way our students have gotten involved and taken the lead in protecting our environment,” Mayor Alvarez said. “It’s a huge honor to continuously be named a Tree City USA, and that wouldn’t be possible without our students and schools being so committed to this effort.”
The Mayor’s Tree Education Initiative leads up to Arbor Day/Earth Day 2018, which will take place on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chestnut Square Park. The event, a collaboration between the Towns of Indian Trail and Stallings, will include a number of demonstrations and exhibits focused on preserving and protecting the environment.
In addition to Earth-friendly vendors, Arbor Day/Earth Day will include live music from the Flat Tire Trio, a bounce house, balloon artist, face painter and much more.
“Arbor Day/Earth Day is so unique in that participants will leave feeling like they have learned something special about protecting our planet,” Kramer, the special events coordinator, said. “We hope families will come out eager to take part and find new ways they can be environmentally friendly at home.”
Find more information on these events at the Indian Trail Parks and Recreation website, www.itsparksandrec.com, or call 704-821-8114.