Mayor Dwight Coleman accepts the Tree City USA flag from CCS fourth graders, from left, Navy Smith, Tristan Jablonski and Conner Tyerman. This year marks Imperial’s 32nd year for receiving the statewide recognition. (Johnson Publications photo)
Thirty-two years and counting; another Tree City USA award
For the 32nd consecutive year, Imperial has been recognized as a Tree City USA community.
The Imperial mayor and council heard all about the experiences a trio of fourth graders had in Lincoln earlier this month as they accepted the city’s award.
Conner Tyerman, Navy Smith and Tristan Jablonski represented the city of Imperial in Lincoln. They were chosen based on essays the fourth grade class wrote about trees.
Imperial is often spotlighted at the Tree City USA ceremony and were again this year.
Having youths accept the award each year is unusual, and they were the only non-adults there again this year.
They brought home another Tree City USA flag and a ball cap, both presented to Mayor Dwight Coleman.
Each of the boys told a little about their trip to Lincoln, all noting it was the first time they visited by State Capitol building.
“It was like being on top of a castle,” Navy Smith told the council about their tour to the top of the Capitol building. They also located Chase County among the listings of all Nebraska’s 93 counties.
One of their stops was State Sen. Dan Hughes’ office, where they learned about his job. The boys and parents enjoyed lunch with the senator.
Young Smith said they were able to attend part of the legislative session that day, and were introduced as Sen. Hughes’ guests.
After photographs with the senator, the boys also toured the Governor’s Mansion and Morrill Hall, where they enjoyed seeing dinosaur bones.
Tree City USA status is received by meeting four core standards of urban forestry management—maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.
Mayor Coleman told the youths he’d see them again next Friday, April 28, when he visits Chase County Schools for the Arbor Day Program organized by the city.
“I look forward to that every year,” he said.