As Mayor I shared my love of poetry by writing poems for schools which hosted Arbor Day Tree Plantings each April to coincide with national Arbor Day ceremonies. Students also wrote and recited poems. I’ve learned I am the only Mayor in the United States to write Arbor Day poems.
Thanks to Forester Sandy Clark for departing her love of trees to countless students. Ms. Clark and her crews in the Mount Prospect Public Works Department worked countless hours on each Arbor Day event.
Village Trustees also attended the ceremonies and helped with planting. Since Arbor Days are important to Mount Prospect, Trustees gave up work days to participate. The Mount Prospect Garden Club co-sponsored the event and gave away rooted twigs for the students to plant at home.
I teamed up with Trustees to give the Garden Clubs’ bagged plantings to the youth.
Family Joined for Arbor Day Ceremony –
Mayor Wilks wrote Arbor Day poems to present to Mount Prospect schools, both public and private.
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Magazine for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources – April 2009 featured the Mount Prospect Arbor Day Celebration and the poems I wrote for the schools as Mayor. I’ve scanned in the three pages from the magazine, “Outdoor Illinois”.
Beginning in 2006, I wrote poems – one on this page –
Written by Irvana K. Wilks, Mayor Village of Mount Prospect
For St. Paul Lutheran School, April 29, 2006 Arbor Day
Greenspire Littleleaf Linden
(Tilia cordata – Greenspire)
In the time-honored tradition marking Arbor Day, we plant a tree, a Greenspire Littleleaf Linden, covering its roots with rich, brown Illinois soil.
Our words of dedication echo across a nation, and join with the choruses of millions of others honoring this same April day.
One imagines that this sapling stands like a small sentry – a guard – next to this school built by faith. It is we, however, who are the sentries, promising to care and to protect it.
The sun and rain will nourish this linden. As it grows, stretching its branches into the vast sky, it will shade children who pass beneath laughing, learning. Generations of students will inherit this Parkway Tree.
In summer the perfume of its flowers B delicate white clusters B will beckon us. We will pause within the canopy of the fragrance and for an instant – pretend to be on a tropical island.
So it will be, the life of this linden and our lives, locked together – grownups, youth and the tree, because today we take shovels and cover its roots with rich, brown Illinois soil. And then we make a promise.
©2006 Irvana Keagy Wilks
Autumn color of Linden –