Arbor Day


Members of the city staff and council, the city’s Environmental Committee, and the fourth grade class from Genesis Elementary celebrated Arbor Day in New Port Richey on Jan. 19,  in Frances Avenue Park. This was the city’s 29th consecutive year of celebrating Arbor Day, which is part of the recognition the city received in the early 90s as a “Tree City USA.”

Joining the festivities this year included the Rotary Club of New Port Richey and Pasco County’s Keep Pasco Beautiful. The Rotary club is working with Rotary International and all clubs worldwide with a tree planting project to help replenish clean air and resilient soil. Keep Pasco Beautiful joined the club’s efforts by providing hundreds of tree seedlings that were handed out to attendees of this event all for the purpose of recognizing the importance of trees in our environment and in our world.

Former City Council member and chair of the committee, Dell deChant, presided over the event and offered a few words about the historic and contemporary context of the event and the City’s reforestation project. Also on the program were Mayor Rob Marlowe, City Manager Debbie Manns, and representatives from the New Port Richey Rotary Club.

After the children’s program about trees and what they do to help our environment thrive, the city’s Public Works department and the children planted a new tree in celebration of Arbor Day and the city’s designation as a National Tree City USA.

In 1854 J. Sterling Morton moved from Detroit to the area that is now the state of Nebraska. At that time there were virtually no trees in the area and he and the other pioneers desired to have them in their surroundings. They also noticed that trees were needed to act as windbreaks to stabilize the soil and to provide shade from the sun, fuel and building materials. Morton planted many trees around his own home but wanted to encourage and enable others to do the same.

At a Nebraska State Board of Agriculture meeting on January 4, 1872, he proposed a holiday to plant trees on April 10, 1872. This was known as “Arbor Day” and prizes were awarded to the counties and individuals who planted the most trees on the day. A total of about one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

All states in the the country now have an official Arbor Day, usually at a time of year that is has the correct climatological conditions for planting trees. Many observations of this day are in April, but Florida is one of nearly twenty other states that celebrates Arbor Day at different times of the year. Similar events to encourage the planting or care of trees are arranged in many countries around the world. The dates are usually chosen to coincide with the optimal season for planting or caring for native trees.

Arbor Day is symbolized by the trees that are planted on the day or as a result of fundraising activities. The official Arbor Day logo shows a mature deciduous tree and the words “celebrate Arbor Day.” The symbol of the Arbor Day Foundation is a similar tree in a circle, symbolizing the importance of trees to the whole planet. Local initiatives may use their state tree as a symbol.

###  (Photos by Marilynn deChant)

Photo 1:  Members of the City Council and the Environmental Committee pose with the fourth grade class and teachers from Genesis Elementary at the 29th annual Arbor Day event after the children’s program about trees that concluded with a song about the environment.

Photo 2: Keep Pasco Beautiful volunteers help event attendees choose tree seedlings at the 29th annual Arbor Day celebration at Frances Avenue Park in mid-January.

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Chasco Fiesta Boat Parade

This is said to be the oldest boat parade in the state of Florida, and it’s not something you want to miss.  The parade starts in Millers Bayou along the Pithlachascotee River, and finishes at Sims Park.  This year the theme is “All About Music”.  So put on your thinking caps because Chasco Fiesta offers cash prizes in the following categories: Profit, Non-profit/Schools, and Individual/Family.

Sponsored by:

Cash Prizes:
Three $500 First Place Awards
Three $300 Second Place Awards
Three $200 Third Place Awards
Plus  $1,000 Best Overall Boat

The Pithlachascotee River, often called the Cotee , is a blackwater river in Pasco County, Florida.  Originating near Crews Lake, the river flows for over 23 miles to the south and west, flowing through the Starkey Wilderness Park before turning northwest through downtown New Port Richey, entering the Gulf of Mexico at Miller’s Bayou. A Florida State Canoe Trail runs along the river.

On a chart representing the west coast of Florida accompanying the annual report of the U.S. Coast Survey for 1851, the name is translated as “Boat Building River”. The whole word signifies the place where canoes were chopped or hacked out. The Seminole used canoes hacked out of cypress trunks. It is derived from the Creek pithlo (canoe), and chaskita (to chop out).

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Arbor Day – January 19th

Join us for Arbor Day at the Frances Avenue Park at 11am on January 19th

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New Port Richey Rotary Club Recognizes Marchman Student

(L to R) Thomas Brochu, Assistant Principal; Rotarian Taylor McDermott; Student Brandon Saxon; and Don Blake, Instructor. (Photo Credit Mike Beam

Brandon Saxon, a student at the Marchman Technical College, was recently recognized as Student of the Month by the Rotary Club of New Port Richey. With him was his instructor, Don Blake and MTC’s assistant principal, Thomas Brochu.  Rotarian Taylor McDermott presented the award.

It is also notable that Brandon is also the 2017 Regional, State and National Gold Medal winner in the Skills USA Electrical Construction Wiring competitions. This is an unparalleled accomplishment and his instructor, Don Blake, said that he’s never had another student quite like Brandon in his 30 years as a teacher. “This is a rare and amazing accomplishment that required enormous self-discipline, focus and commitment, including countless hours beyond the regular school day,” he added.

Through the Rotary club’s Vocational Avenue of Service, Marchman students are acknowledged monthly by the the New Port Richey club and its board of directors. It also provides scholarships to three local high schools, annually provides funds for students to attend “Seminar for Tomorrow’s Leaders,” and recognizes local business owners for their professionalism and contributions to the community.

The New Port Richey Rotary Club was established in 1959 and meets every Wednesday for lunch at noon at the Spartan Manor in New Port Richey. Rotary International is an organization of business and professional persons united world-wide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. The current club president is Brent Simon.    

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NPR Rotarians – Hurricane Relief

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Latest Pictures – Coastal Cleanup


Food we cooked up and sent down to Lake Placid, where it fed 500 people:

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Spelling Bee

The West Pasco Chamber of Commerce Ambassadores Spelling Bee is Tuesday, September 12th from 5: p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Our team this year consists of Cami Austin, Ken Miesmer, Carlos Zubillaga, and Frank Grey. We are the reigning champions!  The cost to attend this adult-only event is just $15 and includes heavy appetizers and a cash bar.  This is truly a fun evening and Al Torrence is the Emcee.  Al says that this is his favorite event and he keeps it moving right along.

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River Clean Up

The Cotee River Cleanup is going to be on September 16th at 8:00am. Meet at the Sims Park Boat Ramp. Canoers, kayakers, boaters and paddle boarders are needed. Walkers are also welcome to clean a city park! Lunch will be provided after the clean-up. Free T-shirts while the supplies last.

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Hacienda Event

The Hacienda event of August 26th, from 6:30 to 8:30pm will be the first social event at the historic Hacienda Hotel in over 30 years. It is being held by the Friends of the Hacienda and Historic New Port Richey to raise funds for the restoration of the Hacienda Hotel. For more information, visit

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Blood Drive

There will be a blood drive on Wednesday, August 16 from 11:00 to 1:30.  All donors will receive a free OneBlood Tervis Tumbler and a wellness checkup including blood pressure, temperature, iron count, pulse and cholesterol screening!  Remember, giving blood is good for you!

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