Tommie Barfield celebrates Arbor Day early

Roger LaLonde Staff 
 Marco Island City Manager Jim Riviere speaks at the Arbor Day tree-planting ceremony at Tommie Barfield Elementary School on Friday.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Marco Island City Manager Jim Riviere speaks at the Arbor Day tree-planting ceremony at Tommie Barfield Elementary School on Friday.

Roger LaLonde/StaffEd Laudise's fifth grade class read a poem and sang a song in recognition of Arbor Day on Friday at Tommie Barfield Elementary School.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde/StaffEd Laudise's fifth grade class read a poem and sang a song in recognition of Arbor Day on Friday at Tommie Barfield Elementary School.

Roger LaLonde/StaffEnjoying the Arbor Day program at Tommie Barfield on Friday, from left, are Dianna Dohm, Marco Island Beautification Advisory Committee, Nancy Richie City environmental specialist, Linda Colombo and Susa LaGrotta of the Advisory Committee, Dr. Jory Westberry, Tommie Barfield principal and Sydney Mellinger, Advisory Committee.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde/StaffEnjoying the Arbor Day program at Tommie Barfield on Friday, from left, are Dianna Dohm, Marco Island Beautification Advisory Committee, Nancy Richie City environmental specialist, Linda Colombo and Susa LaGrotta of the Advisory Committee, Dr. Jory Westberry, Tommie Barfield principal and Sydney Mellinger, Advisory Committee.

Roger LaLonde Staff 
 Susa LaGrotta, Marco Island Beautification Advisory Committee chairperson, speaks during tree-planting ceremonies at the annual Arbor Day celebration at Tommie Barfield Elementary School on Friday.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Susa LaGrotta, Marco Island Beautification Advisory Committee chairperson, speaks during tree-planting ceremonies at the annual Arbor Day celebration at Tommie Barfield Elementary School on Friday.

Roger LaLonde/Staff 
 An Island Garden Center employee steadies the tree and the shovels lay in wait for the tree planting at Tommie Barfield Elementary School in recognition of Arbor Day on Friday.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde/Staff An Island Garden Center employee steadies the tree and the shovels lay in wait for the tree planting at Tommie Barfield Elementary School in recognition of Arbor Day on Friday.

Roger LaLonde/Staff
Sharing shoveling dirt to plant a tree on Arbor Day at Tommie Barfield Elementary School on Friday were Marco Island City Council Chariman Joe Batte, with Karla Upham, third grader, and City Manager Jim Riviere, with first grader Caelan Burt.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde/Staff Sharing shoveling dirt to plant a tree on Arbor Day at Tommie Barfield Elementary School on Friday were Marco Island City Council Chariman Joe Batte, with Karla Upham, third grader, and City Manager Jim Riviere, with first grader Caelan Burt.

Roger LaLonde Staff 
 Marco Island City Council Chairman Joe Batte reads a proclamation, recognizing Tommie Barfield Elementary School's participation in planting a tree on Arbor Day. Behind him is City Manager Jim  Riviere who also spoke.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Marco Island City Council Chairman Joe Batte reads a proclamation, recognizing Tommie Barfield Elementary School's participation in planting a tree on Arbor Day. Behind him is City Manager Jim Riviere who also spoke.

Roger LaLonde Staff 
 Maddy Burt, left, sister Caelan and Karla Upham, all Tommie Barfield students, take part in planting a tree at the school on Friday as part of the Arbor Day recognition.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Maddy Burt, left, sister Caelan and Karla Upham, all Tommie Barfield students, take part in planting a tree at the school on Friday as part of the Arbor Day recognition.

Roger LaLonde/StaffKarla Upham, Tommie Barfield Elementary School third grader, gets ready to assist in planting the Arbor Day tree at the school on Friday. She is wearing a shirt she made in recognition of the day.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde/StaffKarla Upham, Tommie Barfield Elementary School third grader, gets ready to assist in planting the Arbor Day tree at the school on Friday. She is wearing a shirt she made in recognition of the day.

Roger LaLonde Staff 
 An Island Garden Center employee steadies the tree and the shovels lay in wait for the tree planting at Tommie Barfield Elementary School in recognition of Arbor Day on Friday.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff An Island Garden Center employee steadies the tree and the shovels lay in wait for the tree planting at Tommie Barfield Elementary School in recognition of Arbor Day on Friday.

Roger LaLonde/StaffMembers of the Marco Island Beautification Advisory Committee, from left, Chairperson Susan LaGrotta, Linda Colombo, Sydney Mellinger and Dianna Dohm, shovel dirt as part of the Arbor Day tree planting at Tommie Barefield Elementary School on Friday.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde/StaffMembers of the Marco Island Beautification Advisory Committee, from left, Chairperson Susan LaGrotta, Linda Colombo, Sydney Mellinger and Dianna Dohm, shovel dirt as part of the Arbor Day tree planting at Tommie Barefield Elementary School on Friday.

On a brisk Friday morning a Golden Trumpet, Tabebuiia Tree was planted at Tommie Barfield Elementary, honoring National Arbor Day, which isn't until April.

Many students took part in the celebration as Ed Laudise's fifth grade class gave a reading on Arbor Day, then sang a song, directed by Lisa Braren, school music director.

Susan LaGrotta, chairperson of the Marco Island Beautification Advisory Committee, gave the history of Arbor Day. It was first celebrated in Nebraska in 1872, proposed by J. Sterling Morton, a journalist and avid environmentalist.

A lover of nature, Morton moved to Nebraska from Michigan and missed seeing trees in the vast prairies of Nebraska.

The Great Plains were once referred to as the Great American Desert. On the very first Arbor Day 1 million trees were planted.

Once of those taking part was Karla Upham,a Tommie Barfield third grader.

"It is good to plant a tree as it will help us all breathe better," she said.

City Manager Jim Riviere spoke and Council Chairman Joe Batte read a proclamation from the City Council, recognizing Tommie Barfield's Arbor Day.

Besides LaGrotta, other members of the Beautification Advisory Committee attending included Dianna Dohm, Linda Colombo and Sydney Mellinger. Also attending from the city as Nancy Richie, environmental specialist and Brian Milk, director of Community Affairs,

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