More than two hundred children and adults attended Los Banos’ 36th Arbor Day celebration March 3 in Verona Park.
Los Banos Veterans posted the colors at 4 p.m. as the sun shone and led the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by an invocation by Pastor Doug Young from Our Father’s House, in which he expressed gratitude for the beauty and shade provided by trees.
Mayor Paul Llanez welcomed the crowd and representatives from area legislators presented certificates to the city in honor of its once again being named a Tree City USA.
Students from every elementary school in Los Banos, from kindergarten to sixth grade. received awards for their entries in this year’s Arbor Day art and writing contests.
Councilmember Deborah Lewis, School Board Member Dayna Valadao, Parks and Recreation Commissioner John Spevak and Pastor Young read the names of the student contest winners, and each student received a certificate and tree seedling.
Parks and Recreation Operations Manager Joe Heim thanked his staff for all the work they put into the day’s events and thanked the children and adults for coming out to celebrate trees.
Following the ceremonies Los Banos Tree Commissioner and arborist Mark Koehler demonstrated correct tree planning, and city staff members began the planting of 40 trees in Verona Park. Members of Los Banos Girl Scouts Cub Scouts troops also joined in the celebration.
Afterwards children and adults stayed to enjoy games, arts, crafts and a bounce house by Domingo Sandoval, owner of Sandoval Wood Creations.