This year’s Arbor Day ceremony in Rochester was brought to the town courtesy of aspiring Eagle Scout Dominic Mattera, who for his Eagle Scout project planted two young magnolia trees at the entrance of the Dexter Lane ball field.
Rochester’s Arbor Day representative Matt Monteiro assembled a small ceremony on Friday evening, April 26, to acknowledge Rochester Troop 31 ‘s Mattera and his contribution and to introduce the townspeople to some information about magnolia trees in general so they can appreciate Mattera’s gift that much more.
There are 210 flowering species in the magnolia family, Monteiro said, with the earliest found in a fossil that dates back 95 million years. According to Monteiro, scientists say the first flower 140 million years ago looked much like the magnolias he stood before that day.
“The magnolia flower meaning is attached with the symbols of nobility, perseverance, and love of nature,” said Monteiro. “Soft and subtle in color yet strong in appearance, the flower is representative of the beauty encompassing femininity and gentleness.”
Monteiro said he has enjoyed acting as the town’s Arbor Day rep for the past few years, which included the dedication of the gingko biloba sapling from Hiroshima donated by former town administrator Mike McCue and planted at the Dexter Lane ball field, and last year’s ceremony during which he introduced the dogwood tree.
“I hope everyone will consider planting a tree, whether a magnolia or another type, to enjoy the many benefits trees can provide,” said Monteiro.
By Jean Perry