April 13, 2011

The Arboretum will roll out the “green” carpet April 30 to welcome people to their Arbor Day celebration, “Re-leaf: Renewing Our Community Forest.”

The event concludes the garden’s month-long Party for the Planet and will bring together experts on entomology, gardening, recycling and lawn and tree care, among others. Thanks to the support of presenting sponsor Kentucky Utilities Company and sponsors Lexmark and Kentucky American Water Company, the 20th annual Arbor Day at The Arboretum is free.

“We will have experts on hand to answer questions about anything and everything,” said Marcia Farris, director of The Arboretum, which is part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. “People will go home with information that will make caring for their trees and yards, and by extension the planet, a little easier.”

Farris said that Arbor Day is a popular event, attracting more than 1,500 people each year. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray will kick off the celebration with a reading of the Arbor Day Proclamation, which will be followed by the planting of the official Arbor Day tree. And for the first time, there will be a tree birthday party as well, which will include cake and information about how trees age and their importance to the environment.

The festivities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. There will be more than 40 vendors, all of whom will present options for the greening of Lexington. Planners will offer guided tree walks at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and children can enjoy activities ranging from learning about Kentucky animals, which will be on hand, to making recycled crafts.

Farris said every year they try to achieve a zero-waste event by using white boards rather than cardboard signage and eliminating trash by doing such things as serving soft drinks in recyclable cans, rather than cups.

“We also urge the vendors to use things that can be recycled,” she said.

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. The KU Mini City will also make an appearance, where children can learn about safety around electricity. Mini City is a model-sized community that uses live current to show proper safety techniques in various outdoor and indoor scenarios.

“KU has enjoyed a longstanding partnership with The Arboretum,” said Katie Greene, corporate responsibility specialist with Kentucky Utilities. “The Arboretum is really a special place where people can learn about how to green their lives, how to work in their gardens and how to connect with nature. I think people are really interested in coming up with ideas about how to incorporate sustainability into their own lives.”

Other supporters of the event include Big Beaver Tree Service and Community Tree Care. For more information, call The Arboretum at 859-257-6955 or visit their website, http://www.ca.uky.edu/Arboretum.

The Arboretum began in 1991 as a joint effort between the University of Kentucky and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. In March 2000, it was named the “Official State Botanical Garden for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

News Topics: