UK Happenings

Tree Week Brings People Together for Educational Opportunities

Individual in forest taking photo of trees with cell phone
Tree identification classes are among the many events offered for Tree Week. Photo by Carol Lea Spence.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2021) — Kentucky residents will have the opportunity to learn about and celebrate their local green spaces as the state celebrates its fourth annual Tree Week Oct. 9-16. The event gives people of all ages a chance to engage in tree plantings, tours and hikes, tree walks, educational programs, art, yoga and much more. 

The weeklong event is hosted by the University of Kentucky’s Urban Forest Initiative in collaboration with Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, the Lexington Public Library, Fayette County Public Schools, merchants, nature centers, and community and nonprofit organizations. 

“Tree Week is a communitywide event that really engages a lot of people from across all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds,” said Mary Arthur, professor of forest ecology in the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and co-lead of the Urban Forest Initiative. “The events are intended to engage people around urban nature and community. We are really excited about the activities this year. We will be kicking things off during our ‘Pre-Tree Week’ with a tree planting in a tree-sparse area of Lexington.” 

Pre-Tree Week includes a small set of separate events in the week leading up to Tree Week itself such as a tree identification walk and contemplation hike to reflect on the role of trees. 

A primary theme highlighting this year’s Tree Week is climate change. Arthur said the event is a perfect way for people to learn about, and engage, in the issue. 

“Many of us are worried about climate change,” she said. “However, some feel isolated in their worries and unsure how to unite our community to work on the issue and make our city more livable, such as increasing tree canopies, which have been shown to lower the temperatures in urban areas. One of the highlights of Tree Week is it lets people gather together to have these discussions.” 

The Urban Forest Initiative, a collective of urban and community forestry professionals and enthusiasts working to enhance the tree canopy in the region, is led by faculty and staff in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

To learn more about Tree Week and its many activities, visit https://ufi.ca.uky.edu/treeweek.

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