Garden Club of Jacksonville Tiffany Davis spoke before the ceremony. Her inspiring remarks are below:
“Today, we gather around the welcoming embrace of a native Florida treasure, the Live Oak, to celebrate a momentous occasion in partnership with HabiJax and the Garden Club of Jacksonville on this Arbor Day.
“This majestic Live Oak, a symbol of resilience and vitality, stands as a testament to Florida’s rich natural heritage. Native to this great state, the Live Oak not only graces us with its timeless beauty and precious shade but also plays a vital role in supporting our local ecosystem. Its sprawling branches provide valuable habitat for wildlife, offering shelter and sustenance for countless species. From the birds that nest in its branches to the squirrels that scuttle along its limbs, this tree sustains life in so many ways.
“As we dedicate this Live Oak, let us remember the profound Arbor Day message it carries. Arbor Day reminds us that trees are not mere ornaments; they are pillars of life, purifying our air, enriching our soil, and beautifying our landscapes. It’s a day when we come together to recognize the enduring bond between humanity and nature.
“Much like Habitat for Humanity, whose mission is to advocate for affordable housing and fair housing policies, this Live Oak stands as a symbol of our commitment to building better homes for all, both human and wildlife alike. Just as we invest in the growth of this tree, we invest in the growth of our communities, where every family deserves a safe and nurturing home.
“Today, as we plant this Live Oak, let us not only rejoice in its presence but also embrace the responsibility to nurture and protect it, ensuring that it thrives for generations to come. Thank you for joining us in this meaningful dedication ceremony. Together, we celebrate the profound significance of Arbor Day, nature’s beauty, the promise of affordable and fair housing, and a brighter, greener future for Florida.”
Kris McDonald, Community Engagement Manager for HabiJax, read a remark given by the future resident of this HabiJax home about how the Live Oak tree planting will help their family:
“This very foundation of land that you’re standing on will be the land that I nurture to start my family, grow my first tree, host those barbecues, and provide that blank of security for my kids. No matter how far they go in the world there will always be a place they can call home when I become a father. The many memories that will be created here are where you stand today. Words can’t express the thanks I have for you all. Thanks again for this opportunity.”