The Michigan Arbor Day Alliance (MADA) was recently recognized with a 2015 Arbor Day Celebration Award.
For more than 20 years, 2nd and 3rd graders in mid-Michigan have been learning about nature in outdoor classrooms set up each Arbor Day at Potter Park Zoo. The statewide Arbor Day celebration’s 24 activity station activities include tree identification, watersheds, wildlife habitat, tree aging, invasive species, recycling, waste reduction, predator-prey interactions, and food webs. Students also visit the zoo to learn about wildlife and habitats around the world. Teachers receive educational materials and seedlings for their school.
MADA is a coalition of organizations including the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Eaton Conservation District, City of Lansing Forestry Dept., Potter Park Zoo, Lansing Board of Water and Light, ITC Holding Co., Consumers Energy, Arboriculture Society of Michigan, Adams Outdoor Advertising, Metropolitan Forestry Consultants, and Michigan State University Federal Credit Union.
The statewide celebration is staffed by volunteers and funded by an Urban and Community Forestry grant through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and USDA Forest Service, as well as donations. Smith Tree & Landscape Services provides a tree and planting services.
In 2015 more than 1,100 students from public and private schools attended the statewide Arbor Day celebration. The noon tree planting ceremony was hosted by WLNS new anchor Shari Jones with musician and educator Joe Reilly singing about trees, ecology and turkey vultures. Smokey Bear danced and gave out bear hugs.
The award ceremony, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, was held at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City, Neb.