Arbor Day, April 27, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. the Office of the Capitol Commission hosted dignitaries from the University of Nebraska, the Nebraska Forest Service and the Arbor Day Foundation at a tree planting ceremony on the West Lawn of the Nebraska State Capitol. Bob Ripley, Capitol Administrator introduces l. to r. Dan Lambe, President of the Arbor Day Foundation, Dr. John Erixson, Nebraska State Forester, Dr. Ron Yoder, Senior Associate Vice-Chancellor and Erica Hill, Public Relations Director with the Nebraska Association of Resource Districts.
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Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe spoke about the importance of trees and Nebraska’s homegrown holiday. He then shared an interesting fact with the St. Mary’s students attending the cereomny. The world’s tallest tree, a coastal Redwood in California, is almost as tall as the Capitol.
Senior Associate Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ron Yoder with the University of Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources spoke of the importance of tree planting to early settlers and mentioned the founder of Arbor Day, J. Sterling Morton, was the first Nebraskan to serve as United States Secretary of Agriculture. Statues of all four Nebraskans to serve in that position are located on UNL’s East Campus.
Dr. John Erixson, Nebraska State Forester, read Governor Pete Ricketts proclamation declaring April 27, 2018 Arbor Day in Nebraska and encouraging Nebraskans to plant trees for future generations.
Then two St. Mary’s students joined Dr. Yoder and Dr. Erixson to ceremonially plant a Swamp White Oak on the grounds of the Nebraska State Capitol in accordance with Capitol Landscape Architect Ernst Herminghaus original planting plan.