TALLAHASSEE, Fla. /Florida Newswire/ -â€“ Governor Charlie Crist today joined Florida Girl Scouts to plant a red crape myrtle in celebration of National Arbor Day. The tree was planted in Liberty Park, outside the House Office Building. â€œFrom the sabal palms lining our sandy white beaches, to the tall, green pine forests of the Panhandle, much of Floridaâ€™s natural beauty can be attributed to our trees,â€ said Governor Crist. â€œIn addition to being an important source of oxygen, planting new trees remains one of the least expensive, most effective means of drawing excess carbon emissions from the atmosphere.â€
Florida legislators and members of the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association were also in attendance for the annual tree planting.
Floridaâ€™s trees play a vital role in the stateâ€™s economy. During the 2007-2008 fiscal year, more than 20.7 million people visited Floridaâ€™s 161 state parks, contributing more than $1 billion to Floridaâ€™s economy and generating more than 20,000 jobs. The renewable resource also adds billions of dollars annually to Floridaâ€™s economy by providing lumber, paper, mulch, oils and other products.
Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. National Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, and is celebrated on the last Friday in April.