Laconia marks Arbor Day with sugar maple planting

LACONIA — With help from some two dozen children from the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region, the Parks and Recreation Department celebrated Arbor Day yesterday by planting a Green Mountain Sugar Maple tree at Leavitt Park, near the playground not, far from the stump of a large oak.

Amy Lovisek of the Parks and Recreation Department began by quizzing the children about the virtues of planting and nurturing trees. Most questions prompted a variety of responses, but when she asked why the maple should stand close to the playground and pointed to the stump she drew a chorus of "shade!"

In preparation for the event the children had made a banner for Arbor Day, festooned with pictures of trees and leaves. But, they brought one of two banners they had made and to everyone's surprise when it was unfurled it read "Happy Birthday." More familiar with birthdays than Arbor Days, the mishap simply added to their enthusiasm.

Mayor Ed Engler was on hand to read a formal proclamation to mark the day. But, first he offered the children their first lesson in Latin, explaining that "arbor" means tree in Latin.

After two of the children read poems, Lovisek invited them all to spread the mulch around the base of the newly planted tree, reminding them as they and the tree grew older to remember they were here for its birthday.