The Dodge City Shade Tree Commission, along with the Parks and Recreation Department, will host tree-planting services in recognition of Arbor Day Friday, April 26. Services will be conducted at the Arrowhead West Life Skills Center on the St. Mary campus, the CVB Center at 400 W Wyatt Earp and the Mariah Hills Golf Course at 1800 Matt Down Road.

The Dodge City Shade Tree Commission, along with the Parks and Recreation Department, will host tree-planting services in recognition of Arbor Day Friday, April 26. Services will be conducted at the Arrowhead West Life Skills Center on the St. Mary campus, the CVB Center at 400  W Wyatt Earp and the Mariah Hills Golf Course at 1800 Matt Down Road.       
"The tree-plantings are all open to the public," Director of Dodge City Parks and Recreation Paul Lewis said.
A Heritage Oak tree will be planted at 10:30 a.m. Friday   at the Mariah Hills Golf Course to recognize Paul Meininger and his long term service.
"Heritage Oak trees are long living and very sturdy trees," Lewis said. "It'll hold up well out at the golf course."
Paul started out as Golf Pro for Mariah Hills where he served for over thirty years before retiring. Paul has returned to the golf course once again, this time to work part time in the maintenance side of the operation where he has worked the last four years.
At 1 p.m., the Shade Tree Commission will participate with clients of Arrowhead West to plant a tree in memory of past clients. Lewis wasn't sure what type of tree would be planted. The tree will be planted along the entrance drive to St. Mary Complex off Picayune and adjacent to the Arrowhead West Life Skills Center.   
Then, at 2 p.m. a Redbud tree will be planted just west of the CVB Center at 400 W Wyatt Earp to honor Leona Stacey who has worked in the Park and Recreation Division for the last nine years and is retiring in May.
"Redbuds are beautiful flowering trees in the springtime," Lewis said. "It'll look really great when people drive along Wyatt Earp."
Leona has been primarily in charge of landscape maintenance along Wyatt Earp and other public locations and has been instrumental in improving the care of public landscape areas.
Wright Park was selected as the site for this year’s annual Arbor Day tree-planting project by Parks and Recreation staff.  Over the next few days, a dozen new trees will be planted around the new dog park located in the southwest corner of the Park.   
"We'll plant a variety of trees at Wright Park," Lewis said. "All of them from a list of recommended trees for this area issued from the State of Kansas."
Lewis said the Shade Tree Commission uses the list to ensure trees that are planted are able to survive in this part of the state, and also to make sure a variety of trees are here in Dodge City.
"We will plant trees that are at least one-and-a-half to two inches in caliber so the tree is strong enough to survive transplanting," Lewis said.
Arbor Day is a national celebration sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation to promote the planting and care of trees. Each year the Foundation recognizes communities who have made tangible efforts in tree planting and care as a “Tree City USA.”  Dodge City is one two communities
in Kansas and less than a dozen nationwide who have received the Tree City designation for 37 years, since the award first started.