By Savannah Williams
For The Diamondback

College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn issued two proclamations Tuesday during the City Council meeting to benefit the environment and promote education on children's mental health.

Arbor Day is observed throughout the nation, and the world, as a day to plant trees. The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized College Park as a Tree City USA, according to the City Council agenda, and this proclamation aims to continue the city's dedication to sustainability.

The Arbor Day proclamation, put forth by Wojahn, officially establishes College Park's observance of Arbor Day as April 26. National Arbor Day is on the last Friday in April.

In celebration, the city will host a public tree and shrub planting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the College Park United Methodist Church.

"I urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the hearts and promote the well being of present and future generations," Wojahn wrote in a council agenda.

Wojahn also announced the first full week of May would be recognized as Children's Mental Health Awareness Week.

The week focuses primarily on increasing education to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness. This initiative is part of a statewide Children's Mental Health Matters Campaign.

"[It's] important to focus on mental health in children when they're young, so they have an opportunity to do well," Wojahn said.

And though Wojahn, as mayor, has unilateral control on declaring city proclamations, other council members supported these sustainability and awareness campaigns.

"I think proclamations in general are part of the pomp of public meetings," said P.J. Brennan, District 2 Councilman. "[They] draw greater awareness to things."

Brennan said spreading awareness about mental health, as well as sustainable practices, is crucial in the betterment of the city and its services.

District 2 Councilman Monroe Dennis agreed, adding that mental health education, especially of children, is an initiative everyone should be concerned with.

"Children are our future," Dennis said.

Brennan also said he was optimistic about the impact of these proclamations, as residents will be more aware of ways they can help the environment, as well as address any concerns regarding mental health.

"Sometimes it can just be that," Brennan said. "Expressing appreciation, taking a moment to be intentional … draw awareness to things that otherwise wouldn't be on people's radar."