One thing I love about my job is being able to plan events. I enjoy organizing things, meeting new people and making sure everything is crossed off my “to do” list.
As a special benefit, planning events allows me to travel out of town a few times each year for NPPD related activities. One such event is the Arbor Day Celebration, held annually the third week of April.
Actually, it was a craving for travel and some delicious ice cream that kick-started my planning career a few years back. I was asked to help coordinate NPPD’s observation of Arbor Day taking place in Plattsmouth. Eager for a change in scenery and looking to take advantage of a day away from the office, I accepted the assignment.
After some planning, meeting new people, learning about NPPD’s involvement with the Tree Line USA Program, I, along with two other NPPD teammates, ventured out for a day of tree planting. Secretly, what I looked forward to most was grabbing some ice cream at the popular soda fountain I had heard good things about in downtown Plattsmouth.
It was a beautiful day, and after the van was loaded with everything needed to plant trees, we traveled to Plattsmouth. It didn’t take long to find the community center, set up our gear and head downtown to grab lunch before school children arrived to help plant trees.
For those of you not aware of how NPPD is involved with the Tree Line USA Program, let me give you some history. In 2006, NPPD became a member of this program which has several requirements for membership. Part of the process is helping teach children the importance of planting trees, discussing vegetation management around power lines and electrical facilities, and helping address a need for trees in communities across Nebraska.
Not only is this event good for communities NPPD serves and for the students who learn from the experience, but also for adults who help put on the event. It’s fun to see how excited students are when they arrive and see their smiling faces when they get to share “Why Arbor Day is important” by singing Arbor Day related songs, reciting poems, and displaying creative art.
Just having students walk to the event can lead to laughing and excitement. One year students arrived screaming and laughing because of a “giant” snake they almost stepped on while it was sunning itself on the sidewalk near the community center. Nothing makes a day better than hearing children’s laughter and seeing young people eager to learn!
This year’s Arbor Day celebration will be held in McCook. Nearly 100 grade school children will attend and learn the importance of trees — where they should and should not plant them, and how to take care of the trees once they are put in the ground.
I am really glad today that I wanted an opportunity to work outside the office a few years back. Learning details of the program and about NPPD’s involvement and the importance of trees has truly been a growing experience.
If you happen to be in the McCook area on April 22, I invite you to stop by and take a look at what the Arbor Day Celebration is all about. And, if you have time, maybe McCook has a good ice cream shop to enjoy!