Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Apalachicola Community Celebrates Earth Day

Yesterday afternoon marked the 6th consecutive year that members of the Apalachicola community have gathered at City Square Community Garden to celebrate both Earth Day and Arbor Day.

Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970, and continued thereafter on April 22 of each year as a way to bring awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment.

Arbor Day is celebrated locally to meet one of the requirements set by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the city to maintain its annual certification as a USA Tree City.  It is celebrated alongside Earth Day as a logistical convenience.

The annual event is hosted by members of the City Square Community Garden Committee led my Jenny Billings and founded in 2008 by Billings and Karla Ambos from a discussion about beautifying the city and supplying the local food pantry with fresh vegetables.

In 2010 the committee held a “Blessing of the Garden” with more than 100 people watching on as the local clergy prayed and read poems.  Although today’s attendance was far less than 2008, the commitment among those who did attend remains stronger than ever.

Below is the written text of my remarks:

Mayor Van Johnson Remarks
2014 Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebraton
City Square Community Garden
April 22, 2014

I like to welcome each of you to yet another Earth Day/Arbor Day celebration brought to you by the fine folks that oversee City Square Community Garden, which has been going strong for the last 6-years and counting.

I must say that this garden and all that surrounds it epitomizes what can be accomplished and sustained within a community when all truly work together.

While tending the beds and tilling the soils lasting friendships have been established here, and hope in the good of humanity has been renewed.

It is something so amazing and transforming that if I could package it - I would and I would distribute it around the world for free for all to experience.

My hat goes off to all the men and women who have worked so hard to make this project a continued success, something that we can all be proud of.

I’m also proud to announce that in addition to the City of Apalachicola being an official USA Tree City, the city has now made application towards a Scenic Blueway designation, the goal of which is to help facilitate outdoor recreation on our beautiful waterways.

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” – Lady Bird Johnson

Happy Earth Day and Happy Arbor Day!