With Arbor Day set for the last Friday in April, the Noblesville Tree Board will mark the day and Noblesville’s Tree City USA status at noon April 30 with a proclamation by the mayor’s office, along with a tree-planting initiative.
“Noblesville has been a Tree City USA for 32 years and counting. This makes us the city that has held that designation the longest in Hamilton County and the third-longest statewide,” said Ashley Mulis, president of the Noblesville Tree Board.
Mulis said the tree board has been busy the past year creating partnerships, exploring opportunities and looking for ways to positively impact Noblesville.
“We know that education is a huge component of any successful tree program, and so our focus has really been there,” Mulis said. “We looked for opportunities to work with students because they are future stewards of our urban forest.”
Events include a #ShowUsYourTree social media contest; a giveaway of 50 3-gallon trees to the first 50 residents who take the Clear Choices program pledge April 30; and the planting of six native redbud trees May 2 with the Noblesville High School AP environmental science class and Junior Lions Club members.
“We were fortunate enough to be introduced to AP environmental science teacher and conservation club leader Eric Gurule and Vice Principal Dan Swafford, who have been great partners for the tree board in planning the tree planting at Noblesville High School,” Mulis said. “Interior courtyards have never been available to the students to use. Recently, the student council worked with the administration to make the dream of getting outside during the day for some fresh air a reality.
“We want that space to be a place where students can experience the restorative power of nature.”
The tree giveaway arose out of the desire to increase the tree canopy and connect with the community through social media.
“We have learned in performing a canopy analysis in Noblesville that we have lost more than 11 percent of our tree canopy over the last 10 years,” Mulis said. “We hope that by sharing information about the many services that trees provide our great city, we can work to put that canopy back in our yards, parks and along our streets. And what better way to reward those who see the value in planting trees than by giving them another one to plant.”
As for the hashtag, Mulis said it is the Tree Board’s first effort at a social media campaign.
“But we are busy working on other campaigns aimed at increasing our #NobleCanopy,” she said. “We have been generously awarded an intern for the semester by Mayor Jenson’s office. Ava Mulis, a senior at Noblesville High School, has been putting out periodic posts on tree care through the Noblesville Parks Dept. social media pages.”
Mulis said Arbor Day is important because trees provide the backdrop to childhood memories for so many.
“Trees are a uniting force in the world, and we think the time is now to capitalize on this part of nature that we all have in common.” Mulis said. “Trees provide our city with so many benefits (such as) clean air and water, erosion control, stormwater and pollution uptake, increased property values, positive mental health impacts, heating and cooling savings, shade and natural beauty, and the list goes on. We want to share that on Arbor Day and bring our community together.”