By Tim Chick, NYSUFC Board Member, Town of Lake Placid Tree Board Member, Paul Smith’s adjunct professor
Photos by Sally Kellogg, DEC Urban Forestry Program Assistant
On May 14, 2014 the Lake Placid/North Elba Tree Board held its 13th annual Arbor Day ceremony. The program was held in Peacock Park on the shores of Mirror Lake under a beautiful sunny sky. Although the Weather Channel predicted that storms would pass to the Northeast, community members who are used to rapidly changing weather in the North Country came prepared with rain coats and umbrellas.
The program began with a Girl Scout color guard and the singing of America the Beautiful and was followed by a brief history of Arbor Day by Tree Board Co-chair Bob Hanna. Lake Placid mayor Craig Randall read the Arbor Day proclamation and DEC Urban Forestry Program assistant Sally Kellogg presented Bob Hanna with the North Elba Tree City USA award.
Dr. Mike Farrell, director of the Cornell Maple Research Center and a tree board member, began his featured presentation about maple trees in the Adirondacks when the skies emptied with a deluge on the crowd. Everyone donned their raingear for a shortened talk by Dr. Farrell and the presentation of awards for the elementary school Poster Contest winners. After 10 minutes of torrential rain, even the heartiest souls fled the scene with their free tree seedlings in hand. However, our first-year senior citizen Poetry Contest winners stuck it out and read their verses as the sun returned with a beautiful rainbow over Mirror Lake.
The program ended with the planting of a sugar maple by the mayor, poetry contest winners and DEC Region 5 Forester Kris Alberga. The tree is the first of several shade tolerant trees that will be underplanted in a picnic grove as future replacements for aging and declining maple trees. Kris optimistically reminded us that the newly planted tree was well watered as part of the ceremony!