With the scope of the city’s upcoming Arbor Day festivities up in the air, the Conway Tree Board is reaching out to the community for help.
"We’re definitely going to do something for Arbor Day, but to what scale depends on finances," said Deputy Director of Planning and Development Wes Craiglow.
"We would love to establish some sort of partnership with community members."
The tree board was denied a request of $4,000 for funding for the annual event by the city council on Aug. 10 due to a lack of money in the budget, but tree enthusiasts throughout the city are determined that the show will go on.
According to board member Ouida Wright, the City Council has approved spending for Arbor Day festivities since 2006.
"We received an appropriation in the amount of $7,000 for operating expenses for 2009," Wright said. "We spent $3,600 of that on the Arbor Day festival."
Wright explained that the money is typically used each year to purchase the T-shirts, food and saplings distributed to the several-hundred attendees at the event each year.
"Over the past four years, the tree board has given away over 1,000 trees to be planted in Conway and Faulkner County," Wright said.
The tree board was established by the city council in 2006 to provide policies for the purpose of the protection of canopy coverage within the city.
The city of Conway has also been recognized as a ‘tree community’ by Tree City USA, a program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
"Trees have been very important in the economic development of Conway," said Mayor Tab Townsell. "Quality of place is very important, and more trees certainly contribute to quality of place."
Townsell said he hopes for a corporate sponsorship for the festivities this year.
"This is an important annual event in the city, and some sort of corporate sponsorship, someone coming forward as they did for the Beaverfork Fourth of July event, would be fantastic," Townsell said.
The city of Conway will observe Arbor Day this year on Nov. 6 at Laurel Park.
To learn more about the Conway Tree Board, visit www.conwaytrees.org.
(Staff writer Megan Reynolds can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (501)505-1277. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net)