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Arbor Day Tree Planting Celebrates the Class of 2024

Strider Deaver Division of Forestry talks to kids at the Mercer County Arbor Day EventOn April 26th, the Mercer County Conservation District (MCCD) hosted the 3rd Annual Tree Planting in front of the Mercer County Senior High School (MCSHS).  The tree planting honors the first grade class each year and provides the children an opportunity to learn about the importance of trees while creating a lasting memory.  Strider Deaver, from the Ky Division of Forestry, was the guest speaker this year and he captured the attention of over 220 first graders as he talked about trees providing oxygen to breath, shade from the heat, food to eat (like maple syrup), and a place for wildlife to live.  A visit from Smokey Bear topped off the event!

Ken Jackson, Supervisor for the Mercer County Conservation District, created this event three years ago.  The new MCSHS was complete and the lot that faced it was hilly, full of sink holes, and bare.  Mr. Jackson said, “It was a great opportunity for the Conservation District to become more involved with the entire community, not just the farmers.” The Conservation District provides the trees and markers and coordinates the event each year.   Mr. Jackson added, “When we invest in children at this age, it’s a benefit of a lifetime.  The children learn about conservation and take ownership of ‘their tree’.”

Mercer County Senior High School Class of 2024 - Arbor Day EventThe American Beech and Red Maple trees planted in the previous years are now joined by the Sugar Maple marked for the Class of 2024.  MCSHS FFA Students planted the tree and assisted a few of the first graders with finishing up the final work.  The FFA leadership also made a lasting impression on the younger students that were proud to be working with them. 

Tony Best, Chairman of the MCCD lead the event and Melissa Hutchins, Principal of the MCSHS gave the first graders some final words, encouraging them to watch their tree grow so they can return in 11 years for another picture with the tree as they prepare for graduation.

For more information about programs and community services the Mercer County Conservation District provides, visit  To find the conservation district in your community, visit the National Association of Conservation Districts County Offices in Kentucky Directory.

Class of 2024 in front of Mercer County Senior High School