Spencer celebrates Arbor Day

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2011

By Shelley Smith
Buddy Kyles is a self-proclaimed “bee man.” He’s been fascinated with bees his entire life.
He brought one of his hives to Spencer’s Arbor Day celebration Saturday, showing the different levels and telling folks how honey is not only nutritious, but great for colds and cuts.
He said a lot of children there Saturday had never even tasted honey.
“They can learn what the bees do, how they live, why they’re important,” Kyles said. “And honey is one of the most purest foods there is.”
Pamela Kirby had a booth on bluebirds, which included her children’s book, “What Bluebirds Do.”
Kirby studied photography while recovering from a stroke that left her unable to speak for some time. So, she watched the bluebirds in her backyard and then took photos of them.
Troubles returned when her husband developed a life-threatening health problem, and doctors sent him home to die. He beat the odds, though, and began to recover at home. While he was bed-ridden, Kirby would go outside and take photos of the birds.
She compiled the photos into a book for her husband.
“It was an ‘I love you’ gift,” she said.
Her husband’s strength came back, and she presented the book to him, and then they got someone to publish it.
“What Bluebirds Do” is now used in classrooms across America, and Kirby shared her knowledge of bluebirds Saturday at Arbor Day.
“I came because I wanted to share the message of all of the birds that are in peril,” she said.
Kirby said the more she and others educate people about preserving and building habitats for birds, the longer they’ll be around to enjoy.
“The message is to teach people and teach them what they can do to improve their habitat so they’ll have wildlife to enjoy,” she said. “It’s about education.”
Kirby and her husband are traveling to Manteo soon to speak at several schools, and she says children need to learn the importance of keeping their environment clean and safe for themselves and animals.
“If every little child learns and does that, and more people do that, that’s paying it forward,” she said. “We’re spreading the word. It’s science on a personal level.”
The second annual celebration brought more than 200 people Saturday to the 8th Street Ballpark in Spencer, and two crape myrtle saplings were planted at the entrance to the park.
Children played games, danced, ate popcorn and other treats, and learned about the environment.
Free tree saplings were also given out, and Geocaching (treasure hunting with your GPS), was available throughout Spencer.
Next year Spencer’s Community Appearance Commission hopes the Arbor Day celebration draws an even larger crowd.