Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson had the undivided attention of a lawn of elementary-age children during the annual Arbor Day celebration on Friday, January 18.
The talking point?
“We’re planting this Live Oak tree and one day it will get big, like you guys,” Henderson said. “Maybe one of you will be mayor of Gulfport one day.”
The children, who make up the School Year Child Care Program at the Gulfport Recreation Center, read poems and described the importance of seedlings.
“It’s tough reading poems to the public,” Henderson said.
Henderson and Councilmember Michael Fridovich helped plant the baby Live Oak in the middle of Tomlinson Park, with help from the city’s Parks Department employees.
“Talk about putting your city officials to work,” Fridovich said as he shoveled dirt over the tree.
The City of Gulfport Teen Council members passed out refreshments and snacks while Sweet Gum and Live Oak seedlings were offered to the public.
Gulfport is designated a Tree City USA by the national Arbor Day Foundation, joining more than 3,400 cities across America. To qualify, a city must maintain a tree board or department, have a community tree ordinance, spend at least $2 per person on urban forestry and must celebrate Arbor Day.