Arbor Week Celebrations Encouraged; Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners Announced

It’s that time of year again, when Oklahomans are urged to haul out spades, dig a hole and plant some trees. Arbor Week is just around the corner and since 1901—the state’s first official Arbor Day—Oklahoman’s have annually observed this tree planting tradition.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry is encouraging communities, schools and individuals to plan an activity during the state Arbor Week March 22-28, 2009.

“Families can celebrate Arbor Week by planting a tree or by taking a tree identification hike while enjoying the trees in their hometown,” said state forester John Burwell. “Communities might undertake a beautification project at a city park or school.”

As part of the Arbor Week celebration, Oklahoma Forestry Services is proud to announce the state level winners of the 2009 Arbor Day National Poster Contest. The theme of this year’s contest was “Trees are Terrific…in cities and towns!” Fifth graders from across Oklahoma participated in this competition celebrating trees. 

First place winner, Geneva Mendoza hails from Marietta School in Stilwell where a special tree planting ceremony will occur during Arbor Week. Mendoza’s winning poster will be submitted to the national contest with top winners from across the country.

Other Oklahoma winners are second place-Blake Pollock, Cross Timbers Elementary, Edmond; third place-Nick Thompson, Moore Elementary, Broken Arrow; honorable mentions were awarded to Lucero Covarrubias, Fillmore Elementary Oklahoma City; Dalton Whitaker, Russell Dougherty Elementary, Edmond; Allison Dunham, Northern Hills Elementary, Edmond; and Devyn Stowers, Northeast Elementary, Owasso. Forestry Services received entries from 43 school winners this year representing the top entries out of over 1500 entries statewide.

The winning posters can be viewed at  and ideas for Arbor Week celebrations can be found at To request a copy of Oklahoma’s 2009 winning poster by Geneva Mendoza contact Christina Stallings Roberson at (405)522-6158 or email


"Other holidays repose upon the past. Arbor Day proposes for the future.”  J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day in Nebraska, 1872