Groups to mark Arbor Day with tree planting, Arbor Day run

Biloxi is turning its annual Arbor Day observance into an Arbor Day weekend this year, kicking off with a communitywide adopt-a-tree ceremony on Friday at 11 a.m. on U.S. 90 and continuing with the annual Arbor Day run through downtown on Saturday.

The Adopt-A-Tree project, which is an initiative of Biloxi’s two chambers of commerce, Harrison County and the city, offers residents a free tree – either live oaks, Soutehrn magnolias, Nellie Stevens Hollies or Little Gem Magnolias – if the resident agrees to water the trees for its first two years.

The Friday morning ceremony will take place in the center median of U.S. 90 in front of Seashore Manor in Biloxi, near the location where a dead oak tree was recently removed.

“We’re hoping that this brief ceremony on Friday and the Arbor Day run on Saturday will help call attention to the adopt-a-tree program,” said Dreux Seghers, beautification vice president for the Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce. “The ultimate goal of this project is to increase the number of healthy trees in Biloxi, which helps beautify the community and enhances property values.”

The project has been driven by Biloxi City Councilmember Arlene Canaan, who organized the partnership between the Biloxi Bay and Biloxi chambers, the city, and Harrison County’s Board of Supervisors, Parkway Commission and Beautification Division.

A tree adoption form is available on the City of Biloxi web site, and the form is scheduled to be in Friday’s edition of The Bay Press. Click here.

Free magnolia saplings also will be available Saturday at the 17th annual Arbor Day 5K and one-mile health walk-run, which begins and ends near the Town Green. The 5K begins at 9 a.m., and the one-mile health run begins at 9:45 a.m. Entry forms for those interested in participating are available online. Click here.