Hauppauge, NY - April 22, 2014 - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was joined by Legislator Kara Hahn, Tom Ronayne, Suffolk County Director of Veterans Services and Suffolk County veterans to plant two Cherry Blossom trees in honor of Earth Day and our veterans.
“As we celebrate Earth Day across the globe, we must individually and collectively do all we can to save our planet and protect our environment,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “Today, I have the honor of planting two trees in Suffolk County’s Armed Forces Plaza in tribute and salute to our veterans who give of their lives to protect our freedoms. I would like to give a special thank you to Seatuck Nurseries in Eastport for donating the trees and partnering with Suffolk County.”
Tree planting is a great way to celebrate Earth Day as it beautifies an area but more importantly trees help produce oxygen and filter out pollutants to clean the air and also help preserve water levels in the soil.
“Tress are both symbolic of the cycles in each person’s life and serve as a reminder of the renewal of nature,” said Legislator Kara Hahn, sponsor of a 2012 bill creating a memorial arbor program for Suffolk County Parks. “Therefore the planting of a tree is one of the most fitting and lasting tributes to the memory of a loved one.”
History of Earth Day
In 1969, the idea of Earth Day was born by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.. On April 22, 1970, 20 million people gathered across the country to show their support for the environment on the very first Earth Day. The events were far larger than any protest occurring at the time. In New York City alone, 10,000 people gathered for concerts, lectures and rallies. More than 2,000 colleges and universities switched from their ongoing anti-war protests to join in pro-Earth celebrations. Even Congress recessed for the day. Earth Day was credited with putting environmental issues on the political map and launching the environmental movement in the United States.
About the Suffolk County Memorial Arbor Program
The Memorial Arbor program was created in 2012 through Res No. 310-2012. This program allows individuals to have a tree planted to honor an individual, organization or event. The Parks Department requires that all trees must be native species (usually beech, dogwood, evergreen, oak, or maple), and will specify locations where they can be planted. For additional information about the Arbor Tree Program or for an application, please contact the Suffolk County Parks Department at (631) 854-4949.
Photo: (Legislator Kara Hahn, Suffolk County Veterans, Suffolk County Parks Personnel, County Executive Steve Bellone)