Each year we celebrate Arbor Day on the last Friday in April. The City of Auburn Hills always participates by hosting a tree planting event, usually hosted at a local school or youth organization.
We believe that trees are an essential and important part of life, and an important part of our identity as a community. In addition to providing beauty and shade, they help clean the air we breath and reduce the negative effects of erosion. As strong as our beliefs are, the last Friday in April was not an ideal time to host any kind of event, even an outdoor one. Michigan was under a stay-at-home order and gatherings of people were being strongly discouraged. Sadly, we postponed our usual tree planting event in hopes that the COVID crisis would improve and a better opportunity to celebrate our tree heritage would emerge.
In October, we decided to have a small tree planting event at the Department of Public Works and to use that opportunity to thank some of our staff who work on forestry tasks throughout the year. Every year we spend countless hours caring for thousands of trees on city property and along our roadsides. Every year we perform preventative maintenance to keep trees trimmed so motorists have a clear view at intersections, we trim trees above the roads so that semi-trucks and campers don’t catch low hanging limbs, and we care for our trees in the parks and in the downtown district. A lot of work goes into our forestry program, and although I was sad that we couldn’t hold our usual event, I was happy for the opportunity for our Grounds and Forestry staff to plant a tree for themselves, and for a chance to thank them for all the hard work they do year round maintaining our community’s trees.
Stan Torres, Manager of Municipal Properties, Department of Public Works