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Olin Wolfgram, a 7th grader at Liza Jackson Preparatory School, and Allen French, founder of Trees on the Coast—a nonprofit that works to improve the beauty in Okaloosa and Walton counties through tree planting—teamed to plant a navel orange tree near the entrance of Food for Thought’s facility in Santa Rosa Beach.
Wolfgram was tasked to complete a community service project for his Civics class and landed on French after researching environmental causes and charities in the area. After they planted the tree, they were treated to a tour of Food for Thought headquarters, another nonprofit that donates food in backpacks to Walton and Okaloosa county children through their schools.
“Mr. French is a cool guy, and I thought it was great that we could plant a fruit-bearing tree for a charity that helps hungry kids,” says Wolfgram.
Photo submitted by Zandra Wolfgram.

The City of Destin holds its Annual Arbor Day event at Main Street Park, located at 605 Main Street, Friday, April 28, at 10 a.m. The event will include remarks from Mayor Scott Fischer and special guest speaker Myra Williams, a member of the city’s Environmental, Parks & Recreation Committee/Tree Board, board member of Trees on the Coast and representative of Howard Group.


The event will conclude with a tree planting ceremony by the city’s Environmental, Parks & Recreation Committee/Tree Board. The ceremonial tree this year has been donated by Howard Group.


“Arbor Day was the brainchild of Julius Sterling Morton, a Nebraska journalist and politician,” says Fischer. “Having a similar background—in both journalism and politics—I am proud to help promote Arbor Day. Planting a tree is a real statement of faith in the future. Our children and theirs will be the ones who will one day see this tree standing, and I can think of no better legacy to leave than planting a tree.”


The city will give away seedlings to the first 50 people to arrive at the ceremony. The public is welcome to bring their own seedlings to trade with other tree enthusiasts.


Additionally, this year the City of Destin has been named a Tree City USA community by the National Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to urban forestry. This is the 15th year Destin has received this national recognition.


The Tree City USA program is sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. In order for Destin to receive the Tree City USA recognition, four standards have to be met—the city must have a tree board, a tree ordinance, a community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance.


According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, Arbor Day is a nationally celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and tree care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April.
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