SJR State hosts 2022 Palatka Arbor Day Celebration

Palatka Arbor Day Celebration

The Palatka Campus of SJR State hosted the 2022 Palatka Arbor Day Celebration in conjunction with the City of Palatka and the Florida Forest Service on Friday, January 21.

The celebration included an introduction and welcome from St. Johns River State College President Joe Pickens. The proclamation was given by City of Palatka Mayor Terrill Hill, along with words from Carolyn Smith, Palatka Tree Committee board member. President of the Palatka Garden Club Palmer Kinser was the speaker, and UF/IFAS Horticulture Agent Julio Perez shared the history of the East Palatka Holly tree that was planted on St. John River State College’s Palatka campus. Executive Director of Keep Putnam Beautiful, Nicole Grace concluded the celebration with a poetry reading.

Attendees then headed outside to the Viking Center, where the ground was broken for the East Palatka Holly tree. Julio Perez educated attendees about proper planting techniques during the tree planting ceremony.

For a ninth consecutive year, St. Johns River State College received certification as a Tree Campus USA college. To obtain this distinction, SJR State met the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA, including establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.

The College first obtained its Tree Campus USA status, granted by the Arbor Day Foundation, in 2013 following more than a year of strategically planned efforts by faculty, staff and students. The College’s projects included preserving healthy, attractive and sustainable wooded vegetation on each campus, as well as conducting educational outreach efforts and service projects. For additional information and resources the college provides, visit



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020