On April 16, the Belton Tree Board held a memorial tree planting at Belton’s Hillcrest Elementary School to celebrate Arbor Day where a Sugar Maple tree, donated by Rosehill Gardens, was planted in honor of Tanya Shippy.
The Arbor Day celebration involved the second grade classes at Hillcrest. The morning began with the introduction of newly elected mayor Jeff Davis, who read and presented the Arbor Day Proclamation to the second graders. Principal Alisa Seidelman introduced the memorial planting honoree Shippy. Shippy has spent 25 years in the Belton School District, 34 years in education and plans to retire at the end of this school year. While in Belton, Shippy served nine years as the principal at Hillcrest and 16 years in human resources at the Central Office. As Shippy concludes her career, she wants everyone to remember that our Belton kids deserve the very best, which includes recruiting, hiring, and retaining the most qualified staff for our schools.
Belton Tree Board president Seth Smith gave a short talk about the Sugar Maple tree before he, Shippy, and representatives from the second grade classes assisted in the planting of the tree.
Following the planting of the memorial tree, Chuck Connor, urban forester from the Missouri Department of Conservation gave a very entertaining talk on trees and their benefits to those in attendance. Each student took home a White Fringe tree seedling from the Department of Conservation to plant in a location of their choosing.
With this Arbor Day celebration the Belton School District now has a memorial tree at three of its elementary schools, Cambridge, Kentucky Trail, and now Hillcrest. The Arbor Day celebration also is one of the requirements for retaining our Tree City USA status. 2012 is the second year in a row that the City of Belton was awarded Tree City USA status.