Each year in Riverton’s Veterans Park, behind City Hall, the community gathers to celebrate Arbor Day and Armed Forces Day. This morning, despite cool temperatures and a chilly breeze, a large crowd packed the pavilion at the park.
The reason for celebrating the two events together is that in Veterans Park, trees have been planted, by the Riverton Tree Board, to represent each branch of the US Military.
“Stand tall like a tree for our Veterans and our Country” was the theme this year. Local elementary school students are always invited to participate in a coloring contest to illustrate the theme. Board Member, Barb Yates told the crowd that over 100 students submitted artwork this year. 12 winners were announced:
Addalyn Clark, St. Margaret’s School
Ian Mikesell, Aspen
Elizabeth Howard, St. Margaret’s
Kellianne Blake, St. Margaret’s
Kamryn Brost, St. Margaret’s
Drake Hughes, Jackson
Shelly McCarry, Ashgrove
Cora Martinez, St. Margaret’s
Braxton Dow, Rendezvous
Aquinnah Ridgely, St.Margaret’s
Dakayda Yarber, St.Margaret’s
Averee Thoman, St.Margaret’s
In addition, Mayor Gard read and signed an Arbor Day Proclamation and received a new Tree City USA flag from Josh Shroyer with the State Forest Service and also Chair of the Tree Board. Riverton is one of more than 3,400 municipalities across the country to be named a Tree City, meaning they have met a number of requirements including setting aside significant financial support for planting trees.
Locally, Dubois, Lander and Riverton have all received the award for many consecutive years.
Tree Board Chair, Josh Shroyer listed some of the recent projects the Tree Board has been a part of, including planting trees along Riverwalk, Rails to Trails and in Veterans Park.
The ceremony also recognized long-time Tree Board Member, Kim Johnson. Kim retired from the Board last year, and still arrived this morning to help set up and run the event.
A Boy Scout Color Guard made up of young men from Troop 52 (Lander) and Troop 44 (Riverton) raised the flag and a Children’s Choir led by Pat LeMasters provided music for the occasion. The event was MC’d by Kyle Butterfield, Riverton’s Public Works Director.