GRANDVIEW - This fall the leaves of three newly planted trees will be ablaze of a striking orange-red color, brightening a small corner of Dykstra Park in Grandview.
The three autumn blaze maple trees, noted for their heartiness and a change from red to brilliant orange-red fall colors, were planted Wednesday as part of Grandview's Arbor Day celebration.
Gloria Dickie's third grade dual language class from McClure Elementary School planted the trees as a part of the ceremony.
Grandview Parks and Recreation Director Mike Carpenter said the trees were chosen for their heartiness to the area and because they are a beautiful tree in the fall.
Growing 50 to 60 feet tall and between 30 and 40 feet wide, the hybrid is fast growing and drought tolerant, perfect for the park.
Speaking to the students, Carpenter had the youngsters list some of the benefits of having trees in a community. The third graders said that trees produce oxygen, provide pollen for bees, are a source of wood and provide shade.
Arbor Day began in 1872 when J. Sterling Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for planting trees. The first year Arbor Day was observed more than a million trees were planted in Nebraska.
Each year, Grandview celebrates Arbor Day with the planting of trees. As one of only a few communities with the distinction of being a Tree City USA, the community values trees, said Carpenter.
"Not many communities have this distinction," said Carpenter. "We take tree planting and taking care of trees pretty seriously here in Grandview."
On hand at the event was Sharon Fisher, chairperson of the city's beautification commission.
Fisher presented the classroom with an Arbor Day flag in appreciation for their help with the tree planting.