• Arbor Day Celebration at Lincoln Elementary School

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    February 27, 2019
    Lewis Bausell

    Arbor Day Celebration at Lincoln Elementary School
    Students will help plant a tree to celebrate Kingsport’s 33rd Arbor Day
    Kingsport, TN – Vice Mayor Mike McIntire will issue a proclamation declaring Kingsport’s 33rd Arbor Day Celebration at noon on Friday, March 1 at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School.
    “Our trees are part of what makes Kingsport such a great place to live,” said City Landscape Specialist Lewis Bausell. “It’s important to remind our community of that every year.”
    In honor of the city’s commitment to effective urban forestry management, the National Arbor Day Foundation will recognized Kingsport as a Tree City USA for the thirty-third year in a row.
    A community must meet four standards to receive this national designation and the Tree City USA flag. It must have a tree advisory board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an annual Arbor Day celebration. The National Association of State Foresters, USDA Forest Service and the Tennessee Division of Forestry also sponsor the Tree City USA program.
    This Arbor Day, two new trees will be inducted to the Notable Tree of Kingsport Register. To be considered “notable,” a tree must have historical significance or be the largest of its kind in an area. The first tree, located in Fair Acres, is a 50-foot Copper Beach with a circumference of over 129 inches and a crown spread of over 50 feet in any direction.  The other location is at J. Fred Johnson Stadium along Fort Henry Drive, where over 70 White Pine trees grow along the fence facing Fort Henry Drive.  These trees were raised from seedlings and planted by Witt Langstaff, Sr., a local nurseryman, over 30 years ago.
    Kingsport’s Streets and Sanitation Department maintains over 12,000 trees and over 15 acres of landscaping in the city. The department also removes damaged or deceased trees on public lands, while providing annual upkeep of 21 park facilities and 827 acres of green space.
    This department also maintains a Level II Arboretum Certification at Borden Park, sponsored by Domtar and Keep Kingsport Beautiful. The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture coordinate the arboretum certification program, which encourages public education of the importance of the different species of trees. Level II requirements include labeling over 60 trees species, keeping a map available to the public that shows the locations of the tree species and exemplifying proper tree management practices.
    “These programs and partnerships show that Kingsport really values our urban forest,” Bausell said.
    Kingsport’s Arbor Day celebration is a partnership of Domtar, City of Kingsport, Kingsport Tree Advisory Board and Keep Kingsport Beautiful.
    About the City of Kingsport
    Founded in 1917, the City of Kingsport (pop. 53,000) is located on the Tennessee-Virginia border at the crossroads of I-81 and I-26 near the geographic center of the eastern U.S.  The city is widely known as a planned community, designed by renowned city planner John Nolen and wrapping around the foot of Bays Mountain – a 3,500 acre park, nature preserve, planetarium and observatory.  Kingsport is recognized as an International Safe Community by the National Safety Council, a Healthier Tennessee community, and won the 2009 Harvard Innovations in American Government Award for its higher education initiatives.  While many city names are duplicated throughout the U.S., there’s only one Kingsport – a fact that invokes community pride, known locally as the “Kingsport Spirit.”