SJR State, Palatka observes Arbor Day

The Palatka Campus of St. Johns River State College hosted the 2023 Palatka Arbor Day Celebration in conjunction with the City of Palatka on Friday, January 20. The College was presented with a live oak tree, which was planted near the gymnasium.

The celebration included an introduction and welcome from SJR State President Joe Pickens. The proclamation was given by Keith Valentine, Palatka Tree Committee Chair. UF/IFAS horticulture agent Julio Perez and Nicole Grace, executive director of Keep Putnam Beautiful each provided comments regarding the importance of Arbor Day. Blake Josephson, a forester with the Florida Forest Service provided free saplings.

For a tenth consecutive year, SJR State has 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

2023 Palatka Arbor Day Celebration



Michelle Sjogren
Executive Director of Communications

Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Marketing
(386) 312-4021