Hillsboro was one of 98 communities honored Thursday as a “Tree City USA” during the Kansas Forest Service’s annual celebration. This was the seventh year Hillsboro has been so designated.
To become a Tree City USA, a community must pass a tree ordinance, organize a tree board or department, proclaim and celebrate Arbor Day, and budget at least $2 per resident.
The forest service also recognized Hillsboro fifth-grader Shelby Koons, whose poster illustrating “Trees Are Terrific…Inside and Out” placed first among more than 1,800 entries from across the state and now will be part of the first National Arbor Day Art Exhibit through June at the U.S. Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C.
Shelby’s poster also will represent the state in national competition, with the winner to be announced April 26, which is the U.S. and Kansas Arbor Day. She was accompanied to the presentation by her parents, Rod and Carrie Koons, and her sister, Samantha.
Shelby’s teacher at Hillsboro Elementary School, Sherry Fields, won classroom aids when her pupil won a U.S. Savings Bond in the state poster contest. The duo are now eligible for similar, but larger awards in the national competition.