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Kids from We Care Day Care in Worthington help celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree Friday at the Center for Active Living as part of the Worthington Community Improvement Committee’s Arbor Day program. (Erin Trester/Daily Globe)

Chamber's Community Improvement Committee marks Arbor Day

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news Worthington, 56187
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

WORTHINGTON — The unpredictable weather didn’t stop the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Improvement Committee from celebrating Arbor Day on Friday by planting a tree at the Center for Active Living (CAL).

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Members of the committee and other city officials were present to watch the planting of the Mount Royal plum tree by a few special helpers.

Kids from the We Care Day Care center in Worthington came to help plant the tree, and Community Improvement Committee chair Brenda Hurlbut said an attempt is made to invite a different group of kids every year to assist in the effort.

“It’s important to get the kids involved, because they’re the future,” Hurlbut said. “In the past we’ve had kids from Prairie Elementary, the middle school and the Christian school come out and participate in Arbor Day, so we try and get different groups of kids involved each year.”

The plum tree is self-pollinating, meaning it can pollinate and produce fruit on its own. It should grow to between 10 to 15 feet tall.

Mayor Pro Tem Ron Wood kicked off the program by stating that watching trees grow is like watching a young child as they grow — a source of joy.

“Planting trees is just one way we can make improvements and keep this country beautiful,” Wood said.

Wood also encouraged citizens to not only protect the community’s trees, but the woodlands as well.

This is the first year that the Community Improvement Committee has planted a fruit tree for Arbor Day. It was done after a request of the CAL’s director, Kris Hohensee.

“We have an edible garden out in front, so when I was approached by city administrator Craig Clark about choosing the CAL to plant the tree for Arbor Day, I specifically asked if it could be a fruit tree to go with the garden,” Hohensee said.

The Community Improvement Committee normally plants more than one tree for Arbor Day. Due to the city’s water shortage, however — as was the case last year — the committee was only able to plant one.

“We’re part of the Tree City USA — Arbor Day Foundation, which requires the city to plant at least one try every year,” Hurlbut said. “Even though we are unable to plant more, we’re grateful that we can still can plant a tree to celebrate.”

The Worthington Community Improvement Committee also adopted Slater Park, at which it continues to assist the city in keeping the grounds clean. The committee also works on other ways to spruce up neighborhoods. 

Currently, the committee’s primary project is decorating all of Oxford Street with 74 American flags by Memorial Day. They will remain on display through King Turkey Day. 

To raise money for the purchase of the flags, the committee has set up a “can crib” located in the Schwalbach Ace Hardware parking lot on Oxford Street. People can drop off their empty cans at the site,

For more information, visit www.worthingtonmnchamber.com.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.

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