News Breifs

Libby to celebrate Arbor Day with tree planting

Submitted by Brian Baxter
After a very long winter, it feels like spring is just around the corner and Libby’s volunteer Tree Board has been busy with pruning city trees, assessing winter tree damage, and preparing to celebrate Arbor Day. Libby is one of 3,400 towns (41 in Montana) that are part of the Tree City USA program that provides the framework for community forest management for cities and towns across America. Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, communities achieve Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forest management: maintaining a tree board, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrating Arbor Day.
This year, Libby celebrates its 25nd year as a Tree City USA member. Under the stewardship of the volunteer tree board, Libby has added hundreds of trees to its urban forest, for future generations to enjoy. These accomplishments have been made possible because of community volunteers that assist the board in many of its activities. The Libby Tree City USA board and the City of Libby are committed to continued management of its public trees.
In 2017, the Tree Board and volunteers planted a number of sapling size deciduous trees within the city. Some of the planted trees replaced damaged or dead trees. Board members also provided periodic maintenance of tree fencing and bole protection as well as periodic watering where adjacent homeowners are not able or willing to do so. Volunteer board members continue to provide recommendations to the City on taking periodic action for site-specific insect control. Where the assistance of high lift equipment is not necessary, tree board members also conduct critical branch pruning on city trees, clearing lower branches, dead limbs, and to promote specific branch form.
The City of Libby annually recognizes Arbor Day with the mayor’s reading of the proclamation and a planting effort on the last Friday of April. Unless the weather does not co-operate, this year’s celebration is planned to occur at 4pm on April 27th. The event will commence with the planting of flowering crab and showy ash trees around the Veterans Memorial site, made possible by a grant from the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Afterwards, a few additional trees will be planted at Fireman’s Park and one other location in the city. The public is welcome and encouraged to participate in this event.
With the coming growing season, the tree board would like to encourage folks to provide their trees with proper maintenance and care for the benefit of the community. Deep watering once a week, during the summer months, is essential for tree survival, especially for younger trees. As questions arise, the public is welcome to call members of the tree board for assistance in caring for city trees adjacent to their property.
The Libby Tree Board is interested in having new volunteers join our group. Volunteers don’t have to be professional foresters, but to simply have an interest in city beautification through tree planting and maintenance.
For information on Libby’s tree ordinance or the management of the city trees, please contact Jim Hammons, Supervisor of City Services at 293-2731.

Congressional Art Competition open until April 27

On April 9 Congressman Greg Gianforte invited high school students in Montana to participate in the 2018 Congressional Art Competition.
“This year’s Congressional Art Competition provides Montana’s high school students an opportunity to showcase their artistic talents. The winning submission will be hung in the U.S. Capitol where hundreds of thousands of visitors can see the artwork of one of Montana’s most talented young artists,” Gianforte said. “it will also be one of my reminders of home.”
The 2018 competition is open to all high school students in Montana. Participants must photograph ad email their artwork to Entries must be received by Friday, April 27. Only one submission per student is allowed.
The winning student will have his or her artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year and receive two free airline tickets to Washington, D.C. to attend the exhibit opening in June
To learn more, view the complete rules, and download entry forms, please visit