The annual City of Gulfport Arbor Day Celebration lured people to Tomlinson Park on a beautiful sunny Florida day. While some parts of the country experienced temps in the teens with snowfall in their parks, the City of Gulfport celebrated trees by planting a Florida native live oak near the children's playground.
"We're doing something right. This just makes sense," Mayor Mike Yakes said.
The City of Gulfport has been a member of Tree City USA for at least 13 years and officials don't have any plans of slowing down. In fact, Gulfport has been awarded the Tree City USA Growth Award for the sixth year in a row. Every year, the parks division plants a new tree. Now, some that were planted 10 to 15 years ago around the city are standing tall and providing homes to wildlife.
Mayor Mike Yakes, Vice Mayor David Hastings, Council Member Sam Henderson, Gulfport Recreation Center Supervisor Marivel Gutierrez and Parks and Rec. Superintendent Bob Williams took part in the Arbor Day presentations.
Lindsey, 10, Bailee, 10, and Capry, 11, with the 'School Year Child Care Program' with the Gulfport Recreation Center, read descriptions about pecan, myrtle leaf holly and oak trees.
Officials handed out pecan and myrtle leaf holly seedlings to all who attended. Mayor Yakes says if any seedings are left over, anyone can pick those up at City Hall or the Gulfport Recreation Center, "until they're gone," he said.