Nashville Arbor Day commemorates Nashvillians with trees

Mayor Karl Dean reads Arbor Day Proclamation for Nashville Arbor Day          photos: Wanda Clay

Mayor Karl Dean reads Arbor Day Proclamation for
Nashville Arbor Day photos: Wanda Clay

Community leaders and many others gathered in Centennial Park for a special ceremony on March 12 recognizing Nashville Arbor Day.

Nashville is noted as ‘An Official Tree City, U.S.A.’ recognizing the many programs in the city promoting planting trees.

For the seventh year, Tree Line USA Utility was presented to Nashville Electric Service (NES). Wes Allan is the vice president of engineering at NES, and Natalie Billingsby is interim vegetation manager.

The Tree City USA 20th Year & Growth Award was given to Metro Nashville and Davidson County for the third year. On hand were Randy Lovett, director, Metro Public Works; Neil Letson, chair, Metro Tree Advisory Committee; Pat Wallace, president, Nashville Tree Foundation; and Naomi Regensburg chair, Metro Beautification & Environment Commission.

Tree Campus USA was presented to Belmont University. Judy Fisher received the award along with Mary Weber, horticulturist at Belmont.

The program also featured a special sequence of student essays: ‘My Favorite Tree.’ The top three students read their submissions speaking of what trees meant to them as they were growing up, including: a special tree that provided shade, or a silent place of refuge, and trees that were used to build a tree house.

Third place winner was Sophie Vincent from Franklin Road Academy. Second place winner was Perry Young from Oak Hill School, and first place went to Adam Wang from Harding Academy.

The highlight of the ceremony included a short dedication to those who would have a tree planted in their name for services to the city.

Trees were planted in Centennial Park, across from the train, in memory of George Barrett, Cecil Branstetter, John Stephens and E. James Utley III, and in honor of Lawrence Jackson.

As the ceremonies came near a close, Mayor Karl Dean read an Arbor Day Proclamation. Remarks were made by Randall Lantz, superintendent of horticulture for Metro Parks and Recreation.

Tree seedlings were also given out.

The Nashville Arbor Day was sponsored by Mayor Karl Dean, Metro Public Works, Metro Beautification & Environment Commission, Metro Tree Advisory Committee, Metro Parks & Recreation, Nashville Tree Foundation, and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry.

The Nashville and Tennessee community are invited to plant more trees.

For more information visit the official website at

More photos from the event below: (photos by Wanda Clay)