GODFREY - Arbor Day began as a holiday in 1885, but only within the State of Nebraska.
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Since then, all 50 states and several other nations began celebrating Arbor Day during the time of year in which tree planting is most preferable. To observe this holiday, the Godfrey Parks and Recreation Department dedicated 61 trees in the honors and memories of several local citizens and their loved ones at Glazebrook Park.
"People buy trees throughout the year to the memory of a loved one," Godfrey Parks and Recreation Director Kimberly Caughran said.
Glazebrook Park is currently running out of space for these trees, Caughran said. She said the park currently holds 400 such trees. To continue the dedication trees, however, Caughran said several were planted at La Vista Park. At the Arbor Day event, 34 such trees were dedicated there.
President of PRIDE Inc., Pat Schwarte, read the names of those living and dead receiving a tree in their honor. While the majority of the trees dedicated were for the honored dead, Caughran said the Godfrey Parks and Recreation Department also dedicates trees for babies.
"It's always lovely to dedicate a tree in someone's honor," she said. "But they can also dedicate them to their babies when they're born. We plant them next to the playground."
The dedication service also featured a flag presentation by Boy Scout Troop #16, an invocation from Pastor Don Long of First United Methodist Church and remarks from Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick and Glazebrook Park founder, Norma Glazebrook.
Besides those trees, three benches and two pavers were also dedicated during the ceremony.
The Arbor Day Festival at Glazebrook also included free hot dogs and soda, several local food and artisan vendors, and a petting zoo featuring camels and small dwarf cows called "zebus."
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