Tree planting in DeFuniak Springs honors Spires, Arbor Day

Special to Gannett
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SOUTHPORT, Fla. — To celebrate Florida Arbor Day, the Florida Forest Service will take part in a tree planting ceremony Friday, Jan. 28, in DeFuniak Springs. The planting ceremony in honor of Dr. Ralph Spires will be at 1 p.m. at the lake yard on Circle Drive with a luncheon preceding at 11:45 a.m.

Officials will plant two 30-gallon trees, one red maple and one bald cypress, Spires built and opened the former Lakeside Hospital, the first hospital in Walton County. He was appointed to serve on the Florida State Board of Medical Examiners from 1948 through 1960 and served as president of that board.

For more information on these events, contact Walton County ForesterAri Sewell at 850-401-6142 or email Areil.Sewell@FDACS.gov.Florida.

Arbor Day is a time to recognize and celebrate the benefits trees provide to our state’s economy, ecosystems and communities. Pioneered by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska, the idea of Arbor Day began in 1872. The movement spread rapidly over the next decade and schools nationwide began observing Arbor Day. While Arbor Day is celebrated nationally in April, many states recognize a state Arbor Day to coincide with the local tree planting season. In Florida, Arbor Day is observed on the third Friday of January.