Arbor Day: 400 Trees Distributed and 926 lbs. of Food Donations Collected

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 This past Saturday, the Arbor Day event drew hundreds of residents to come together and celebrate the 19th Annual Arbor Day event, recognizing the city’s efforts in maintaining its designation as a Tree City USA and Monarch City.

400 trees and 500 butterflies were distributed, aiming to improve the environment and enhance the city’s overall beauty. Residents lined up to encounter a native butterfly walk-thru exhibit filled with hundreds of butterfly species and plants. “This year swallowtails are large and impressive to see up close,” one spectator said. Another attendee commented, “I’ve never seen so many butterflies in one space! It’s fantastic!”

In exchange for a free 3-gal potted tree, attendees donated 926 pounds of canned goods, equivalent to a $1,963.12 value. These donations were then delivered to a Grace Community Food Pantry, where they were weighed, sorted, and packed into bags for distribution to families in need. The food contributions from Arbor Day supported 132 families, providing enough sustenance to last a week.

Alongside the food donations, another service was provided, one that aimed to reduce recyclable waste in landfills. A free paper shredding service was offered by First Coast Shredding, shredding an impressive 4,500 pounds of paper collected. This service allowed attendees to securely destroy personal documents and recycle the waste.

“Arbor Day is a fantastic event that offers numerous benefits to the community,” said Carol Mini, Urban Forester for the City of Palm Coast. “It focuses on trees and releasing native butterflies, while also bringing families and friends together to support families in need. It’s a fun and community event for everyone!”

A social media event-day photo contest also took place, where attendees were encouraged to share their favorite pictures captured, and the top three photos selected will receive prizes. The selected winners will be contacted by email. The winning photos included a child holding a snake from the Central Florida Zoo exhibit, a landscape showcasing the miniature boats of the Palm Coast Model Yacht Club in the lake, and a four-legged companion next to a potted tree in celebration of Arbor Day. Each photo beautifully captured the essence of Arbor Day.

This event sought local vendors and community organizations such as Pyramid’s DJ, Bella Gifts, All Washed Up, Chews Wild, Ver-a-Safe Products, Kona Ice, Southernly Sips, Marineland Dolphin Adventures, Palm Coast Garden Club, African American Cultural Society, Palm Coast Fire Department, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Forestry Service, Rebuild Florida, Flagler County Rotary Club, Central Florida Zoo, For Any Event, and Palm Coast Model Yacht Club.

By Jeremy Jarvis

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