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HANFORD — In honor of Arbor Day, the Lemoore Parks Department and students from John F. Kennedy Junior High School planted six trees in Civic Park Thursday.

The city has had an Arbor Day celebration for the last 23 years.

Alvin Dias said they usually just plant a few trees for Arbor Day to continue to participate in Tree City USA, a program that promotes conservation and education about the environment and trees.

Hanford is one of over 3,000 communities participating in this program.

For the 25th year celebration, Dias said the city may make it more celebratory although he does not know what that would look like yet.

April Silva said her community leadership class has celebrated Arbor Day with the city for the last five years.

One of her eighth-grade students, Frank Flores, said he thinks that planting trees makes the city look nicer.

“We get to help our community and grow a tree,” Flores said.

The JFK students have a green thumb. In addition to planting trees, they have plots in the community garden in south Hanford, a garden at school and have helped with the Children's Storybook Garden.

Silva said that she thinks it is important that the children show that their community is important to them.

Her class also does service at the Salvation Army and Kings SPCA Halfway Home.

Dias said  hundreds of trees get cut down annually in Lemoore. Last year, around 45 trees were cut down in the downtown area alone.

He said the trees are more stressed because of the drought and are catching more diseases than usual.

This year they planted three varieties of oak trees: scarlet, cork and southern live. Oaks tend to do well despite droughts.

Silvas said the city continually tries to replant trees to make up for the lost ones.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2458 or chelsea.shannon@lee.net.

News Reporter

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