MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Local leaders grabbed their shovels and garden gloves to participate in the inaugural celebration of National Planting Day.
Macon State College partnered with Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful to plant a native oak tree on the campus. Keep America Beautiful is a proud host of the new found holiday. Keep America Beautiful Susan Burkhardt says they are just as excited to celebrate the holiday right in the middle of Georgia.
"Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful was our very first affiliate. How wonderful is it to come to a community that we know has been with us from the beginning," Burkardt said.
Keep America Beautiful created National Planting Day to restore the ecological balance in the environment and create greener communities.
"Cleaner and greener communities bring people to the community and help with economic development and help people to just feel good," Burkhardt said.
"A clean community enhances the quality of our life and also enhances property value," said Carolyn Crayton, Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission.
Burkhardt says the goal is to get communities nationwide to return to it's roots by planting local species.
"It's extremely important to plant native," Burkhardt said. "Native trees bring native insects and native birds."
For Macon State College, the event served as the start of a new initiative and a reminder of the past. In 2008, the school lost more than 80% of it's trees after a tornado. Macon State College Aborist Derrick Catlett is looking forward to rebuild and reap the benefits of the new species.
"Everyday should be National Planting Day. It's never a bad day to plant a tree, not all of them live so every effort and attempt is valuable," Catlett said.
Burkhardt hopes the new holiday will encourage people all over to grab shovels and get growing.