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The city of Ormond Beach was recently awarded its second Tree City USA Growth Award for 2018 by the Arbor Day Foundation.
The city was notified in early January, and the award was recognized at the City Commission meeting on Jan. 23. Though Ormond's standards of tree preservations were called into question by some after the clear-cutting at Granada Pointe, the city continued to earn a consecutive Tree City USA designation. The last time Ormond Beach was awarded this growth award was 1993.
"This award recognizes higher levels of tree care within designated Tree City USA cities, which Ormond Beach has been proudly recognized as a tree city for almost three decades — just about 28 years to be precise," Mayor Bill Partington said.
To be eligible for this award, cities must have a tree board (Partington said the city's Quality of Life board serves this function), a community tree ordinance, an arbor day observance and proclamation, and a community forestry program with an annual budget of $2 per capita. Partington said the city spent $576,525 on trees last year.
The city's Leisure Services staff reviewed the requirements early last year. A committee was formed with various department reps to assist in attaining the award. The qualifying criteria projects included publication of tree brochures, literature distribution, externally funded beautification projects and local chamber awards.
Lions club honors student-athlete-of-the-month
The Ormond Beach Lions Club named Seabreeze High School senior Abby Gabriel as its student-athlete-of-the-month for January.
Gabriel, a four-year member of the girls soccer team, has scored over 60 goals. She was named Rookie of the Year as a freshman
and Offensive Player of the Year as a junior. Her teammates named her captain of the team during her senior year. She is also a volunteer soccer coach at Pathways Elementary School.
Aside from sports, Gabriel is a four-year honor roll student with a 4.5 GPA. She serves as the vice president of the Allied Health Academy and is a Seabreeze High School Champions of Character recipient.
She plans on attending Huntington College in Montgomery, Alabama, in the fall and major in physical therapy.
Local artists return from show
Ormond Beach residents Rachel Thompson and Chester Perkowski returned mid-December from exhibiting their recovered styrofoam art collection, titled "Recovery," at Art Spectrum-Miami.
The Styrofoam was reinvented into sculptures, jewelry and mosaics, and the pair received recognition from Circle Foundation for the Arts as finalists in an international competition. They were awarded for excellence.
Thompson and Perkowski regularly show works at Arts on Granada in Ormond and Riverside Fine Art Gallery in Daytona Beach. They are the featured artists of the month at Ormond Main Street. They are currently preparing to debut their collection at Thompson's home studio in Ormond-by-the-Sea during the Off the Beaten Path Florida Arts Tour on Feb. 9-10. Visit iamartrachel.com.