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Arbor Day celebrated at Lake Willastein

The Maumelle Tree Board chose Lake Willastein as the site to celebrate Arbor Day on Saturday and it was the lake that stole the show.

With new landscaping from Maumelle Parks and Recreation, the historic lake showed off its new look.

Parks Director Phillip Raborn said his team of city employees did most of the work and spent $24,000 to add what he called a second phase of planned projects at the lake.

Raborn said $25,000 was spent last year on landscaping around the amphitheatre but, he added, the bulk of those funds went to buying a pump and irrigation system through an existing sprinkler system.

Raborn said the new sod in this phase extends to the bathrooms and he’s been asking for a third phase that would complete the landscaping back to the drive-over bridge. Those funds won’t be budgeted until next year.

The Saturday ceremony was designated Trick or Treat for Trees and the event included planting four bald cypress trees. Three were donated by the Tree Board while the fourth donated was by Cub Scout Troop 262.

Tree board member Barbara Elliott said she was pleased with the turnout on a beautiful Saturday morning that turned rainy later that afternoon.

Alderman Preston Lewis read a proclamation from Mayor Mike Watson, who couldn’t attend, naming the day as Arbor Day in Maumelle and encouraging city residents to plant more trees.

Last year’s Christmas storm damaged many trees in Maumelle and this fall would be a good time to replace them, Tree Board Chairman Kristina Kryzhanovska said.

Among the other events on Saturday were children’s activities and while experts gave tips on correct tree care.

The event also had a poster contest and the winners were:

• 1st place — Belle Bowman, 5th grade, Academics Plus Charter School

• 2nd place — Ellerie Hayes, 3rd grade, Academics Plus Charter School

• 3rd place — William Lonon, Pine Forest Elementary School

• Callie Bures, 5th grade, Academics Plus

• Brendan Rochelle, Pine Forest

• Jenica Jones, Pine Forest

• Jayla McCaster, 4th grade, Pine Forest

• Cambria Walbert, 4th grade, Pine Forest

• Tanner Kenler, 3rd grade, Pine Forest

• Anna Burgos, Pine Forest.

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