GETTING WHAT THEY CAME FOR — Deltona Parks and Recreation Director Mark Manning, on the left, poses with Pedro and Janice Rosario, as they take their crape myrtle tree to its new home.

There is something shady going on in Deltona. The biggest city in Volusia County is a bit greener now, as people living there have planted more trees, courtesy of the Deltona Parks and Recreation Department.

April 28 was Arbor Day in Deltona, and people came from all parts of the city to claim free trees for replanting at their homes. The city distributed 100 crape myrtle and 100 red maple trees to Deltona residents.

By giving away trees and encouraging their planting, Deltona, like DeLand, bolstered its status as a Tree City USA. The national Arbor Day Foundation awards the Tree City USA designations.

HE GOT A TREE, TOO! — Edward Fowler walks away with his new red maple tree.

“This is the 16th year that the city has received that recognition,” Deltona Mayor Santiago Avila Jr. said.

Arbor Day is not a hard-and-fast holiday, as the banks, post offices, schools and government offices remain open, and localities around the country observe it on different days of their choosing. Arbor Day was the brainchild of J. Sterling Morton, a Nebraska newspaper editor who advocated the planting of more trees. At Morton’s urging, the first Arbor Day was celebrated on April 10, 1872. Morton was also a Democratic politician who later became secretary of agriculture under President Grover Cleveland.


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