In 1850 the Rev. Joseph Clokey, pastor of what would become Mt. Lebanon United Presbyterian Church, took a trip to the Holy Land and returned with two Cedar of Lebanon trees. He planted those trees in his front yard near Bower Hill Road and within a few years people were referring to the nascent town in which those trees grew as Mt. Lebanon.
This year, Mt. Lebanon’s centennial, the history of the community’s name will be recognized during the annual Arbor Day Celebration when students will plant a tree (a cedar tree, if we can get one) outside Washington School at 2:30 p.m., Friday, April 20. Every year, a different Mt. Lebanon elementary school hosts an Arbor Day celebration in which students plant a tree on the school grounds. It was a happy coincidence that 2012 was Washington’s year as the school is the community’s oldest existing school, celebrating its 90th birthday this year.
Washington students will create posters dedicated to the theme “Trees Help Make History: Please Plant a Tree.” Those posters will be displayed at stores and restaurants along Washington Road in the weeks leading up to the event. The public is invited to the event that will include student poetry, essays and music; the reading of the Arbor Day proclamation and tree planting near the school’s butterfly garden fronting Washington Road.