Tonasket residents celebrate the Earth with Arbor Day Celebration

TONASKET – As Earth Week came to close, Tonasket residents celebrated the earth on Saturday, April 25 with an Arbor Day Celebration and a Plant and Seed Exchange.

The Plant and Seed Exchange was in Triangle Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Event organizer Michael Pilarski said there were probably over 100 customers and about five vendors.

“Our goal next year is to double in size,” Pilarski said. “There were new plant starts, tomatoes, herbs, seeds and a good amount of stuff. This is back by popular demand. People growing their own food in home gardens is what we’re trying to support and home gardening increased 60 percent this year.”

At 2:30 p.m., the Arbor Day Celebration began in Day Park with the boys of the Tonasket Cub Scouts Pack 21 advancing the flag and leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Then Brock Hires sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” from the gazebo. When he finished, Mayor Patrick Walter thanked everyone for coming.

“Tonasket’s been a tree city for three years now,” Walter said. “I don’t know when Arbor Day started but a lot of trees have been planted between now and then and it makes me feel proud because this is something for our children and our children’s children.”

Then Lucas Scott, Johnna Terris and Samantha Ehrhard read poems about what trees provide, create and give humans. They are students in Jollie Evans grade class who wrote these poems as a class assignment. Evans said the poems were judged and these three were chosen along with Lexie Wahl’s poem about her tree named Joe. Evans read Wahl’s poem because she couldn’t be at the celebration.

After Hires sang “God Bless the U.S.A.,” the Cub Scouts retired the flag and the crowd then gathered at the youth center at the top of Fourth Street to plant an Autumn Blaze Maple from Baker’s Acres