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Village celebrates Arbor Day founder

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ADAMS – The village will never forget Adams native Julius Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day.

The South Jefferson Chamber of Commerce’s 27th annual Arbor Day Festival on Saturday was proof, as organizers sought to educate the community on maintaining traditions and honoring an accomplished former Northern New York man.

“Adams is known as the Arbor Day Village, and as long as we can keep this festival going — although he moved as a baby — we’ll do it,” said Connie A. Elliott, chamber president.

In New York, Arbor Day is celebrated as Earth Day on April 22, which also is Mr. Morton’s birthday.

On Saturday, about 50 vendors were spread out throughout the South Jefferson Central School District’s Bruce C. Clarke Building, Route 11, offering a variety of activities for children and families. Zoey M. Duerson, 3, attended the event with her aunt, Molly J. Ormsby.

Zoey said that she was excited to see a lizard at the event and that she likes many animals and picking up twigs in her yard.

“I like to play outside,” she said.

Mrs. Ormsby, who also attended the event with husband Justin S., daughter Nataleigh G., 1, and niece Ava Duerson, 2, said the family enjoys nature, so the festival seemed like the perfect event.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation was on hand to give out about 500 white spruce tree seedlings, which may take up to 30 years to mature. Master gardener volunteers with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County educated attendees about gardening, and extension staff members were on hand to talk about composting.

Adams Tree Committee Chairwoman Liz Walker said it was nice to see so many people at the event to help bring the village back to its roots. The committee received a DEC grant a few months ago to plant more than 60 trees throughout the village later this year.

“We can keep planting trees in Adams where they need to be,” she said.

Other highlights of the event included a hydroponics garden project display from the school’s FFA group and a certificate presentation to village resident Marcia A. Reed, who was honored as the South Jefferson Citizen of the Year.

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