Cudahy Honors Arbor and Earth Days

treeresized_2Cudahy celebrated two holidays, Earth Day and Arbor Day, at City Hall this past Saturday, with a citywide trash pick-up in the morning and annual tree planting ceremony in the afternoon.

The city was recognized for its 22nd year as a member of the Tree City USA program, which is a tree planting and tree care program established by the Arbor Day Foundation. Milwaukee, Greenfield, and Brookfield are other nearby Tree City USA cities.

The entryway inside of City Hall was full of information about the Tree City USA program, and this year’s plaque was prominently displayed.

Inside City Hall, volunteers of all ages welcomed members of the community and thanked them for their support by offering doughnuts, hot dogs, soft drinks, and dessert. Elementary school children worked the tables that were covered in countless pamphlets offering information about the importance of trees and clean water in every community, as well as summer science journals for their elementary-aged acquaintances.

After a morning trash clean up around the city, the festivities concluded with the annual tree planting ceremony led by Cudahy mayor Tony Day. Each year, a tree is planted at the event and dedicated to a member of the community. This year’s tree was dedicated to Eddie Adamczyk, a long time member of the Cudahy community. His family was present at the tree dedication and, using a special golden shovel, placed the first shovels of dirt onto the young tree.

Adamczyk owned Adamczyk Foods, a Cudahy food store that specialized in meats. The sausage store has been in business since Adamczyk’s father opened it in 1925. Eddie and his wife Birdie prepared and sold a variety of sausages for decades before Eddie’s death last year.

Kim Sebastian, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources representative who spoke at the ceremony, said, “The dedication is a great way to memorialize and recognize people.”

Tree City USA

There are more than 3400 different communities in the country involved in the Tree City USA program, <website> 180 of which are located in Wisconsin. In order to qualify as a Tree City USA city, a community must meet four standards.

  1. The community must have an operational tree board or department.
  2. The community must designate the establishment of a tree care ordinance.
  3. A community forestry program must be established with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita.
  4. The community must take part in an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

The organization cites a number of possible benefits that can come along with becoming a member of the program. Among them are education, public image, citizen pride, financial assistance, and publicity.

Financial assistance can come in the form of grant money for trees or forestry programs. Officials can, at times, have more confidence in communities that are established Tree City USA participants.

The organization said that being a member of its program is good for public image. Tree City USA signs can be displayed at a community’s entrance and can signal to visitors that they are entering an area that cares about the environment.

The organization also said that public presentation of the Tree City USA award boasts positive publicity opportunities. It is also a free way to reach large numbers of people with relevant information on tree care.

This year’s presentation of the Tree City award took place at City Hall, but the annual Arbor Day tree-planting event has seen trees planted in other locations around Cudahy.

Sebastian said, “City Hall and the library are two of the focal points. Occasionally they have planted at schools and done some other projects.”

Parting Gifts

The City of Cudahy Tree Board provided each person in attendance with white pine seedlings, which came with planting instructions.

White pine is native to Midwest and northeastern North America, growing as far south as Georgia and as far north as Newfoundland, Canada.

The seedlings were purchased with proceeds from fundraisers conducted by the Cudahy Lions Club. Club President Paul Baerwald said, “All of the money that we raise in our fundraisers goes back into the community. For instance, this Arbor Day, we supplied all the tree seedlings that they are handing out.”

In addition to planting instructions, the seedlings also offered facts on the benefits of trees, such as, “trees produce oxygen and filter the air,” and, “trees help prevent flooding and soil erosion.”

The 2011 Tree City USA tree was planted outside the entrance to the Cudahy City Hall. After the Adamczyk family shoveled dirt on the tree, Mayor Day invited the children in attendance to grab a shovel and help take part in the planting.

It was not only the children who were excited about the event.

Sheboygan native Erin Terbeek said she planned on planting the white pine seedlings in her backyard.

“Trees are pretty awesome,” Terbeek said.