LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2019) — More than ever, people are recognizing the many benefits trees bring, not only to the environment, but also to their sense of well-being. Arbor Day at The Arboretum honors and celebrates those green bastions of Earth’s fitness.
Generously supported by Presenting Sponsor Kentucky Utilities Company and Hickory Sponsor Kentucky American Water Company, this is the 28th observance of Arbor Day at The Arboretum. The event, which runs from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 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 America in Bloom, Bluegrass Beekeepers Association, Daniel Boone National Forest, Trees Lexington!, Office of the State Entomologist and Wild Ones will have information to share with visitors.
This year, five groups will give away native shrub and tree seedlings while they last. The giveaway is supported by Blue Grass Energy, the Kentucky Division of Forestry, Kentucky Utilities, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Environmental Services and Oakland Farm Trees.
Mark Williams, interim chair of the University of Kentucky Department of Horticulture, will kick off the event at 1 p.m., and Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton will read the Lexington Arbor Day proclamation. For the eighth time, the University of Kentucky will receive the Tree Campus USA Award, and Lexington will receive its 31st Tree City USA Award.
Children’s activities will be offered in the Kentucky Children’s Garden and exhibitor tents, which all open following the opening ceremony. Admission to the children’s garden is free during the event, courtesy of Kentucky Utilities. At 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., The Arboretum’s curator and native plants collection manager, Emily Ellingson, will lead Bluegrass Roots, a tour through the Bluegrass Region of the Walk Across Kentucky. At 2:30, the Arbor Day Tree will be planted in the children’s garden.
“This will be an exciting day. It provides an opportunity for people to see The Arboretum at the beginning of the season and to get reinvigorated, because it sure has been a long slog through winter,” said Molly Davis, director of The Arboretum. “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 and perhaps a young shrub or tree, too.”
Other Arbor Day at The Arboretum sponsors include Big Beaver Tree Service, Blue Grass Energy, Dave Leonard Tree Specialists, Fayette County Local Emergency Planning Committee, Lexington Environmental Commission, Lexington Tree Board and Lexmark International.
In case of rain, the opening proclamation will move inside the exhibitor tents. Visitors to the event can park for free in either the UK Purple KE Greg Page lot and walk to the event or the Kroger Field Blue Lot and catch a free shuttle ride to The Arboretum. Shuttles will operate continuously from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information about Arbor Day at The Arboretum, visit The Arboretum website, http://arboretum.ca.uky.edu.
The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, began in 1991 as a joint effort between UK and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Housed in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, it is located at 500 Alumni Drive and offers more than 100 acres of native plant collections representing the seven geographic regions of Kentucky, horticultural display gardens, trails, water features, the Kentucky Children’s Garden and seasonal events.