Florida Arbor Day was honored on January 19 by a tree-planting ceremony at the Women Veteran Memorial at Veterans Park on Okaloosa Island. The event, hosted by the Destin Garden Club, also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and the club’s 22nd year.
Okaloosa County Commissioner District 2 Carolyn Ketchel presented the Florida Arbor Day proclamation approved by the Okaloosa County Commissioners at their January meeting declaring January 19. While Arbor Day is generally observed across the U.S. in April, Florida has a different growing season than some other states.
Commissioner Ketchel, Destin Mayor Wagner, Destin Garden Club President Anne Collins, Arbor Day Chairman Lee Vanderpool, and Destin Garden Club member Cindy Dohner performed the ceremonial planting of the bald cypress. This particular tree can potentially live up to 699 years. As Lucy Larcom, an American teacher, poet, and author, wrote, “He who plants a tree, plants a hope. ”
The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs promotes civic and environmental responsibility in Florida through programs that address conservation, beautification, education, and advocacy for sustainable environmental practices.
Destin Garden Club follows the same mission through its community projects. It meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 9:15 a.m. at the Destin Library, 150 Sibert Avenue. Meetings are free and open to the public.
A staff writer for Emerald Coast Connected, June is (to quote her husband) “Like a fine old car driven beyond her warranty”. June, however, says she simply loves life and believes in finding the loving heartbeat of her community and enjoying the ride.