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North Syracuse hosts 22nd Arbor Day celebration

Music accompanies the tree-planting ceremony

The village of North Syracuse kicked off its 22nd Annual Arbor Day Celebration at 12:15 p.m. Friday April 30, with a rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner," performed by Lee Turner on a key bugle.

Village Mayor Diane Browning read the Proclamation and officially declared "April 30 as Arbor Day in the village of North Syracuse."

Turner, leader of the Gillette Road Middle School Band, said he has been playing instruments at this event "just about forever." During the course of this celebration that took place at Heritage Park in North Syracuse, Turner also played "Woodman, Spare that Tree" by Leslie Nelson-Burns and Perez Prado's "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White."

At the Lee Terrace entrance of the park are Snow Fountain Weeping Cherry trees. These trees came from the village tree farm managed by Gary Wilmer, the head of the North Syracuse Department Public Works.

Wilmer takes bare root seedlings and then plants and protects the trees until they are ready for transplanting throughout the village. This saves money because buying a larger tree is more expensive than the little ones he takes care of, Wilmer said.

"Every year we order trees and put them in our tree farm to grow a little bit," Wilmer said. "We just had an inventory done through cooperative extension. They let us know trees that we have and planting places that we can transplant them in."

The village of North Syracuse now has "22 consecutive years as a Tree City," according to organizer Pat Fergerson. Among the qualifications to become a Tree City are having an Arbor Day Tree Ceremony and also having a tree program in place in the village.

Presenting the flag for the Tree City presentation was Matt Swayzee, a private lands forester for the Department of Environmental Conservation.

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