April 18, 2018 | By: Carol Lea Spence
LEXINGTON, Ky., -

In a state where native woodlands are valued for recreation and income, and in a city known for its tree-lined streets, it seems especially appropriate to celebrate and honor trees with Arbor Day at The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky.

With generous support from presenting sponsor, Kentucky Utilities Company, the culminating event of The Arboretum’s annual month-long celebration, Party for the Planet, will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. April 28. The event will kick off with the reading of Lexington’s and Kentucky’s Arbor Day proclamations by Charles Snavely, secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. James Wright, director of Kentucky Division of Forestry, and John Small, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, will present the Tree Campus and Tree City USA awards. For the seventh time, the University of Kentucky will receive the Tree Campus USA Award. Lexington will receive the Tree City USA Award and the Tree City USA Growth Award. This is the 30th year Lexington has received the Tree City USA Award, longer than any other Kentucky community. The Tree City USA Growth Award recognizes the city’s urban forest initiatives that have blossomed in recent years. Partnering with The Arboretum and the city of Lexington to improve the urban canopy are the University of Kentucky’s Urban Forest Initiative in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Lexington Tree Board, Lexington Environmental Commission and private business, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood associations and volunteers.

The annual Arbor Day event brings together experts on a wide range of subjects, including energy, the environment, invasive species, urban forestry, gardening, wild birds, butterflies and bees. Exhibitors from organizations and interests such as Central Kentucky Audubon Society, Liberty Nature Center, Bluegrass Beekeepers Association and Wild Ones will have information and knowledge to share with visitors. Children’s activities will be offered in the exhibitor tents, including Leaf Magic, presented by the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. Admission to the Kentucky Children’s Garden is free during the event, courtesy of Kentucky Utilities.

As in the past, several groups will give away native shrub and tree seedlings while they last. The giveaway also is supported by The Arboretum, Kentucky Utilities, Blue Grass Energy and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Environmental Services. On display throughout The Arboretum will be birdhouses and feeders, part of the Spring is for the Birds!: Birdhouse and Birdfeeder Exhibit and silent auction, which is open through May 6.

“Our guests will return home with an abundance of information they can use in their home landscapes, as well as a new appreciation for Kentucky’s natural areas,” said Molly Davis, director of The Arboretum.

Other Arbor Day at The Arboretum sponsors include Kentucky American Water Company; Lexmark International; Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government boards and commissions, Big Beaver Tree Service, Blue Grass Energy, Fayette Local Emergency Planning Committee and partner Dave Leonard Tree Specialists.

In case of rain, the opening proclamation will move inside the exhibitor tents. Visitors to the event can park for free in UK’s Kroger Field Blue, Red or Green lots and catch a free shuttle ride to The Arboretum. Shuttles will operate continuously from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Free parking is also available in UK’s Purple KE Greg Page lot, which is within walking distance to the event.

The Arboretum began in 1991 as a joint effort between the University of Kentucky and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. It is located on the UK campus at 500 Alumni Drive and offers 100 acres of native plant collections representing the seven geographic regions of Kentucky, horticultural display gardens, trails, water features, native trees, the Kentucky Children’s Garden and seasonal events. For more information about the Arbor Day celebration, visit The Arboretum website, http://arboretum.ca.uky.edu.

Contact: 

Molly Davis, 859-257-6955

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