Washington Community Forestry Council representative Sheil Gray presents Yelm’s 16th Tree City USA award to Rick Roberts from Yelm’s Tree Board. The city’s new memorial tree sculpture stands nearby.

The City of Yelm celebrated its “Sweet 16” anniversary as a Tree City USA on National Arbor Day, April 27. The Ceremony began with a color presentation by the Clover Park High School’s Air Force Jr. ROTC Honor Guard. Mayor Ron Harding read the proclamation for Arbor Day followed by a presentation of a giant sequoia to Yelm’s sister city, Lacey. Deputy Mayor Jason Hearn of Lacey accepted the tree and in turn, presented a sugar maple to the City of Yelm to replace an elm lost in this winter’s ice storm.

Mayor Harding unveiled a brand new memorial tree sculpture which will be displayed in City Hall. Yelm’s Memorial Tree Program encourages tree donations to honor, memorialize, or celebrate a special person, place, or event. Each leaf on the sculpture recognizes a donors to the program.

Washington Community Forestry Council representative Sheila Gray presented Yelm’s 16th Tree City USA award. Yelm Community Schools participated in the event by recognizing Arbor Day art contest winners grades in K-12. The Prairie Elementary Choir provided Arbor Day music.  

Local seniors were presented with trees for their living groups and organizations. The program finished with Nancy Hillman and the Stage Struck Players doing a musical number and skit.

11th grade poster contest winner Daniel Kabouni’s artwork is based on this year’s theme, “My Dream Tree.” Daniel’s teacher is Mrs. White at Yelm High School.