Harbor Way Gardens gained a sweetbay magnolia Friday afternoon in honor of Arbor Day. Sponsored by the Harbor Island Garden Club and Boy Scout Troop 232, several community members gathered together to pay homage to nature.
Boy Scout Troop 232 is Wrightsville Beach’s Boy Scout division, which meets at the little Chapel on the Boardwalk. The Little Chapel on the Boardwalk also happens to be the Harbor Island Garden Club’s venue. With common environmental interests and meeting space, the two organizations share a natural partnership.
“We wanted to involve youth and the community,” said Jeanne Thume, the garden club’s Arbor Day committee chair member. Thume helped aide the partnership between her club and Boy Scout Troop 232, which have collaborated on projects in the past. “That’s what you want to do with Arbor Day, is to tie it into the youth.”
Mayor Bill Blair and members of the Wrightsville Beach Board of Alderman were in attendance at the ceremony, which took place in the heart of Harbor Way Gardens. Garden club members selected the sweetbay magnolia because it grows quickly, flowers in the spring, produces berries in the fall and has a pleasant scent.
Senior patrol leader Pryce Dickens hosted the ceremony and has had experience working on Eagle Scout projects in the community. “Our troop just wanted to give back to the community and since Wrightsville Beach is our home, we wanted to help as much as we can.”
Boy Scout member Tab Taylor offered a brief historical overview of the national holiday, which was first practiced in the United States in 1872 and encourages individuals to plant and honor trees.
Mitchell Bowling reflected on society’s cultural relationship with trees and how we often take them for granted. “We go about our daily working tasks oblivious to the wonders of nature all around,” the Troop member stated. “Today, on Arbor Day, we stop and smell the roses.”
Garden club member Joetta Cobb announced the club’s alignment with the National Arbor Day Foundation. “Arbor Day is more than a holiday, it is a promise to the earth,” Cobb said. The garden club committed to plant ten trees to continue their partnership with the national foundation.
“Trees are truly gifts that keep giving.”