By Dottie Dewberry
For the WPT
MABEN — The Maben Home and Garden Club recognized the state of
Mississippi’s Arbor Day Celebration by donating and planting the
state tree, a magnolia, on the campus of West Oktibbeha County High
Mississippi adopted the magnolia as the official state tree in 1938.
Although no specific species of magnolia was designated as the state
tree of Mississippi, most references recognize the Southern Magnolia
(Magnolia grandiflora) as the state tree.
It wasn’t until 1926 in Mississippi that Arbor Day became an official
day of observance.
In section 5, Chapter 161 of the 1926 Mississippi Code, the state and
county boards of education were directed to set aside a special day
each year in the public schools ”on which day ornamental and shade
trees, flowers, etc., are to be placed where practical on the grounds
surrounding all public school houses.” Later, the second Friday in
February was firmly adopted as the day on which the state would
annually observe Arbor Day (Wikipedia).
Serving on the Arbor Day Committee are Polly Miller, Cathy Lollar and
Dora Moucha; they chose to plant the magnolia tree at the West
Oktibbeha County School as this is how the observance originated in
Mississippi: plant a tree at the school.