Kansas Forest Service celebrates anniversary, Arbor Day

Kylie Rethman, human resources specialist for the Kansas Forest Service, takes a selfie with Smokey Bear at the forest service’s Demonstration Arboretum and Honor Grove’s 131st Anniversary and Arbor Day celebration on Monday. (Tiffany Roney | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas Forest Service celebrated its second annual Arbor Day celebration Monday with different events and activities including insect and disease demonstrations, tree planting, educational walks and Smokey Bear sightings.

However, the event was about more than Arbor Day, which isn’t until Friday.

Kim Bomberger, district community forester for the service, said the organization was recently accredited by the Morton Arboretum, and that the event was a good way to let the community know about the accomplishment.

Larry Biles, state forester for the Kansas Forest Service, said the service was also celebrating its 131st anniversary.

“There is so much novelty and a lot of good events that everyone can come out and enjoy,” Biles said.

People from all over the community came out to enjoy the event. Gloria Holcombe, editor in the department of communications and agriculture education, said she came to the event so her grandson could meet Smokey Bear.

Holcombe also said she personally enjoyed planting different trees with her friends and family who were in attendance with her.

“They did a really good job of putting the event on,” Holcombe said. “There was really something for everyone.”