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[(l-r) Don Agren, Leighton Powell, Bonnie Appleton, First Lady Anne Holton, Rich Johnson, Lin Diacont, Mike Liken]


Virginia celebrated Arbor Day on April 28, 2006 by planting for the future.

In ceremonies on the grounds of the Executive Mansion in Richmond, the Virginia Green Industry Council (VGIC) planted a handsome Cherokee Princess Dogwood tree which will grow to add year-round beauty to the home of Virginia’s Governors.

Virginia Arbor Day, as officially proclaimed by Governor Tim Kaine, is part of a national celebration that encourages tree planting and care. Arbor Day is a time to recognize the enormous contributions trees make to the economy, environment and quality of life for the Commonwealth. Trees add oxygen to the air, absorb carbon dioxide and reduce storm runoff. Trees provide the materials for numerous products create jobs for thousands of workers and reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling. Trees also add beauty to the landscape, provide privacy and reduce noise pollution.

Rich Johnson, VNLA President commented on the significance of the Virginia Ornamental Plant Evaluation and Introduction Program. "The landscape/nursery industry is the fastest growing agricultural industry in the Commonwealth. With the Ornamental Plant Evaluation and Introduction Program, named "Beautiful Gardens™", industry leaders and their public and private partners hope to increase the visibility and economic impact of ornamental horticulture further in Virginia."

Along with the tree planting, Dr. Bonnie Appleton of the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center made a presentation about America’s Anniversary Gardens. Virginia Cooperative Extension has developed the America's Anniversary Garden to help individuals and communities mark America's 400th Anniversary of Jamestown, the first permanent settlement. These statewide signature gardens and landscapes will have red, white, and blue color schemes. Dr. Appleton also announced plans for upcoming events and installation of America’s Anniversary Gardens.

VGIC is the proactive voice of Virginia’s Green Industry which includes nursery and landscape companies, arborists, flower growers, landscape designers, Master Gardeners, florists, Christmas tree growers, turfgrass companies and greenhouse growers. VGIC coordinates Green industry organizations, providing education, environmental guidelines and other information to keep Virginia green and growing. For more information about the Virginia Green Industry Council, log onto

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Participants in the Virginia Green Industry Council Arbor Day Ceremony
at the Governor's Mansion on Friday, April 28, 2006

For additional information, contact: Jeff Miller at 540-382-0943 or

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