Commissioners, Children Celebrate Arbor Day by Planting Trees
Arbor Day will be celebrated Friday at 10 a.m. when County commissioners join children from the Early Childhood Enrichment Program to plant trees at Helen Meyer Community Center, 4525 New Forest Drive, west of Rainbow Boulevard and south of Flamingo Road.
Commissioners are also encouraging local residents to plant trees.
“We want to beautify our community, improve the environment and enhance our ‘urban forest,’” Commission Chair Susan Brager said. “Trees help clean the air and reduce carbon dioxide, capture stormwater, provide shade and create a healthier environment and a better quality of life for all of us.”
The County is also taking part in inventorying the trees under its care as part of a community-wide project that gathers information on species represented, their condition, location, size and age. The inventory, which will get underway next month, will help prioritize maintenance schedules to reduce the potential liability from hazardous trees, provide the basis for the development of a comprehensive management plan and facilitate long-term budget planning.
These efforts tie in well with others that are similarly environmentally friendly. For instance:
- The County’s entire 2,745-vehicle fleet runs entirely on alternative fuels. It also has the largest hybrid fleet in the state with 537 vehicles.
- The County has replaced street lights and traffic signals with energy-saving LED lights on the Las Vegas Strip and throughout unincorporated Clark County.
- The County has three facilities with solar power panels, including those at the Clark County Government Center, its Development Services Center on Russell Road and at Spring Mountain Youth Camp. The Government Center also hosts six electric vehicle charging stations for complimentary charging for all visitors.
- The County promotes the design and construction of sustainable and energy-efficient buildings and facilities with the construction of LEED-standard buildings. An addition to the Development Services Building and a Wetlands Park visitor center are being submitted for “gold” certification. Building Department standards and requirements have changed to encourage greener designs as well as cost-effective solutions. As the County has grown and built new facilities, energy use has declined. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, consists of a series of rating systems for high-performing green buildings and was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
- The County buys recyclable materials and green products whenever possible. Additionally, a recent audit found that employees at County facilities are recycling 62 percent of their trash, considered high by recycling experts, though officials hope to boost that figure through education.
- Local air quality has improved significantly since July 2001 when the County Commission was designated as the air pollution control agency for Southern Nevada. In 1985, the Las Vegas valley logged a record 41 unhealthy air days due to carbon monoxide. In January 1993, the area was designated as serious non-attainment for particulate matter (PM-10), a form of dust pollution. The County now meets health standards for carbon monoxide, PM-10 and ozone.
Arbor Day began in Nebraska in 1872 as a means to promote tree planting. In 1907, President Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed it a national event.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 14th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to more than 2 million citizens and 42 million visitors a year. Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to almost 900,000 residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.