ECHO — Umatilla County’s first “tree city” is paying homage to the importance of trees in the run-up to Arbor Day on April 29.
Echo is currently offering a free tree to all new homeowners in the city, and paying half the cost of new trees for other residents who pre-arrange to purchase one. Trees should arrive around May 1.
The public library housed at city hall is also adding more books about trees to its collection, and each elementary school class at Echo School is being given a tree book to add to their classroom library.
On April 20 the city will hold its annual tree celebration at 12:35 p.m. downtown. The afternoon includes stations for students to learn about everything from leaf identification to forest fires, giveaways, a coloring contest and refreshments. Members of the public are also invited to participate.
The city recently installed its first tree art, part of an initiative by the Echo Art Committee. The giant metal tree was placed in front of the old service station, and a second piece of art by artist Douglas Gisi will be placed in front of the old Echo Hotel soon.
This year will mark Echo’s 27th year as a Tree City U.S.A. Today 57 cities in Oregon have earned that designation but Echo is only one of 15 to receive a Tree Growth Award for going above and beyond the requirements for planting and maintaining trees in town.