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Maine celebrates Arbor Day

City of Bangor officials celebrated Arbor Day on Friday by planting a tree in front of City Hall.

BANGOR, Maine — From its start 150 days ago, Arbor Day has recognized the importance of trees and promoted caring for and planting tree around the country.

Sen. Angus King, an Independent, and Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho lead a bipartisan group of senators that aim to introduce a resolution recognizing the significance of April 29 as Arbor Day.

The resolution is also co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

City of Bangor officials celebrated Arbor Day on Friday by planting a tree in front of City Hall.

“Trees provide so much value to the city," Director of Public Works Aaron Huotari said. "They really keep the city cooler during the summer than in other bigger cities. They provide stability for the soil. They help clean water, they help clean air. There is just a lot of great things about trees, so why would we not celebrate them?”

Friday's ceremony was part of a 17-year effort to maintain healthy trees in the city which has earned the city the designation “Tree City, USA.” The program is run by the Arbor Day Foundation to encourage the valuation and celebration of trees.

“Trees are a great way to beautify the city, help prevent climate change, treat storm water runoff, make our cities cooler and more comfortable, reduce noise pollution, they do everything," Greg Edwards, a member of the City of Bangor Tree Board, said. "They are a silver bullet to so many problems, so it is really important to give them the care that they need.”