Arbor Day

Arbor Day is a nationally celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, it's celebrated on the last Friday in April. His simple idea of setting aside a special day for tree planting is now more important than ever.

Keep Akron Beautiful celebrated Arbor Day for 20+ years by giving more than 50,000 seedlings and over 1,500 Arbor Day Presentations to 4th grade students. The organization has also worked closely with the City Arborist, Bill Hahn, to plant trees, worked alongside companies to relocate trees, and partnered with knowledgeable companies, like Advanced Aboriculture, on public space projects to trim overgrown trees.

The City of Akron was named a 2015 Tree City USA by The Arbor Day Foundation and is also home of the historical Signal tree in the Chuckery Area of the Summit Metro Parks, with its mystery being a WKYC local news feature in 2017. As the city works to expand green spaces in 2018 and beyond, Keep Akron Beautiful will continue to lend support.

2016 Arbor Day with KAB Summary and Pics

Read the 2016 Arbor Day press release here.

Arbor Day was held on April 29, 2016 and Keep Akron Beautiful, in partnership with the City of Akron gave out 2,500 American Plum seedlings to every public, charter and private school fourth grader in the City of Akron. 

Pam Ray, Education Specialist for Keep Akron Beautiful delivered 54 presentations about the origin and importance of this national holiday to 45 fourth grade classrooms in public, private and charter schools in Akron. Then, students wrote a 10-word slogan to express how fruit trees nurture their body. A panel of five judges chose the top three slogans out of 22 submitted this year.

First Place Slogan: Apples, oranges, lemons, limes, help nurture and grow young minds.

Teacher Shannon LaMarca's fourth graders at Schumacher CLC wrote the winning 10-word slogan and the school campus received a tree donation. R.B. Stout Inc. helped the students with planting the tree. A proclamation and certificate was presented by Mayor Horrigan to Brandi Davis, Principal:

arbor day first place schumacher


arbor day second place forest hill


Second Place Slogan: Pick an apple from a tree--healthy you and healthy me


The second place winning slogan was composed by teacher Tracy Visco's 4th graders at Forest Hill Community Learning Center. Vizmeg Landscaping installed a donated tree on their campus with help from the students.





educational specialist pam with principal churn


Third Place Slogan: Find a wealth of health on branches of fruit trees.


The third place winners at Mason CLC dedicated their tree to Principal Churn. The City Arborist, Bill Hahn, was on hand to talk to kids about caring for their donated tree. This third place slogan was produced by the 4th graders of Felicia Moga's / Letizia Robinson's class. Suncrest Gardens helped with the planting.


2016 Arbor Day judges included:

  • Tammy Brady, Principal of Resnik Community Learning Center, which was the 2015 slogan winner.
  • Emily Petrarca, Keep Akron Beautiful long-time supportive volunteer.
  • John P. Miller, Keep Akron Beautiful Board Member
  • John Malish, City of Akron Engineering and Construction Dept.
  • Helen Dauka, Communications & Volunteer Project Manager


Keep Akron Beautiful thanks the Engineering Department of the City of Akron for the assistance in selecting 2,500 American Plum seedlings to give to each public, charter and private school fourth grade student in the city to commemorate Arbor Day, which was made possible through a donation from FirstEnergy Foundation.  

Bill Hahn and John Malish, City Arborists, assisted 18 Our Lady of the Elms seniors with the packing of the seedlings in SoilMoist donated by JRM Chemical of Cleveland.The trees and SoilMoist were placed in polybags donated by Don Prather of Custom PolyBag.

Walgreen's donated additional bags so the kids could carry their seedlings home.

We thank these wonderful folks for their unwavering help, along with our always incredible KAB volunteers, who deliver these to all the fourth graders in public, private and charter schools.

The City of Akron was awarded its 20th Tree City Award by the Arbor Day Foundation. Ohio has more certified Tree Cities than any other state! We hope the fourth grade students learn to respect living things as they nurture their tree and watch it grow through the years in their own backyard!


More pictures from Arbor Day can be seen on our Facebook page:

Schumacher and Forest Hill (1st and 2nd place winners respectively) Tree Planting Ceremonies


Mason Tree Planting Ceremony