April 21, 2014 | By: Aimee Nielson

The Arboretum is recognizing 28 years of partnership between the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government and the University of Kentucky  as part of its Arbor Day festivities on April 26.

The partnership began in 1986 with an agreement to develop 100 acres of university property as an arboretum for use by faculty, students, staff and the general public. In March 2000, it was named the “Official State Botanical Garden for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”  A new agreement between the urban-county government and UK, ensures the future of The Arboretum through 2086. The agreement will be signed by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and UK President Eli Capilouto following the mayor’s annual proclamation of Arbor Day at 10 a.m.

The Arbor Day festivities conclude this year’s ‘Party for the Planet’, a month-long series of events made possible by Kentucky Utilities Company. This year’s theme is “Leave a Legacy,”

Following the proclamation, agreement signing and planting of the Arbor Day tree, exhibitor and children’s activity tents open.

The event brings together experts on tree care, native plants, birds, gardening, and recycling, among others. Additionally, state and local entities that support the environment will be in the exhibitor tent. The children’s activity tent features interactive opportunities for families to explore the relationships between plants, food, history and art.

Thanks to the support of presenting sponsor Kentucky Utilities Company, co-sponsors Lexmark and Kentucky American Water Company, and event supporters Big Beaver Tree Service, Community Tree Care, Dave Leonard Tree Specialists, Keep Lexington Beautiful, Lexington Emergency Planning Commission, Lexington-Fayette Environmental Commission and Lexington Tree Board, the 23rd annual Arbor Day at The Arboretum is free and includes free admission to the Kentucky Children’s Garden.

“We will have experts on hand to answer questions about our environment,” said Molly Davis, director of The Arboretum, which is part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “People will go home with information that they can use in their home landscape and gain knowledge of natural areas in the region. One of the most popular aspects of Arbor Day at The Arboretum, free tree seedlings, will have a new twist to make sure that homeowners ‘Leave a Legacy’ by choosing the right tree for the right place.”

Davis said Arbor Day is a popular event, attracting several thousand people each year. As in the past, this year’s festivities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. More than 40 exhibitors in two tents will present options for the greening of Lexington. Children can enjoy many activities, including a puppet show in the Kentucky Children’s Garden, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Davis said each year they aim for a zero-waste event by reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills by sorting recyclables, composting by serving food and soft drinks in recyclable or compostable containers.

“We also urge the exhibitors to use things that can be recycled or things that are made of recycled materials,” she added.

Five exhibitors, including Kentucky Utilities, will hand out tree seedlings and discuss how to save money by saving energy at home. They also will provide information about the Kentucky Utilities “Right Tree, Right Place” program, which encourages people to think carefully about what they plant near power lines.

On April 25, The Arboretum will host an Arbor Day volunteer training from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to help volunteers learn what they need to know to successfully volunteer for Arbor Day. Volunteers will help with parking, unloading and loading exhibits and many other jobs. Contact The Arboretum for more information about volunteering.

For more information, call The Arboretum at 859-257-6955 or visit their website, http://www.ca.uky.edu/Arboretum


Molly Davis, 859-257-6955

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