Kentucky Arbor Day – Plant a Tree

beech-treeKY Arbor Day – “Plant for the Planet!” Partners with the United Nations Environment Program 2009 Billion Tree Campaign to Give Away Trees Louisville, KY (April 4, 2009) – The Belknap, Deer Park, Highlands-Douglass and Upper Highlands Neighborhood Associations along with community businesses and individual donors are celebrating Kentucky Arbor Day on Saturday April 4th. Volunteers will give away 1,300 trees from the Kentucky Division of Forestry to anyone who pledges to plant and nurse them to  adulthood. These are 12 to 24-inch, bare-root seedlings. Canopy species mature into 70 to 120-foot trees – the choices include Oaks (White, Northern Red, Swamp Chestnut), Shagbark Hickory, Bald Cypress, River Birch, Persimmon, Kentucky Coffeetree, Yellow Poplar, Pecan and American Sycamore. Understory species are the Eastern Redbud and Flowering Dogwood, which grow to some 30 feet.

Warheim Park at 1832 Overlook Terrace, 40205, four blocks from the Douglass Loop, is the site of the joint Highlands tree give-away from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (?), rain or shine. Extra parking is available at Douglass Loop. Just follow the balloons to Warheim Park. The festivities include refreshments and entertainment along with plenty of information and expert advice from foresters, arborists, tree huggers, area naturalists associated with the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, and master gardeners from the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension, UK College of Agriculture.

Stephen Spanyer – Chair of the 2007 & 2008 Belknap Neighborhood Association Arbor Day Committees – is spearheading the Arbor Day event for the expanded joint Highlands effort. This year Spanyer has found increased support for the United Nations idea “Plant for the Plant!” with the three Highlands neighborhood associations surrounding the Belknap neighborhood, as well as with more individual donors.

Since the UNEP in its third year has increased its goal from 1 billion to 7 billion trees planted worldwide, the local tree give-away has grown from 300 seedlings in 2007 to 1,300 seedlings on order for 2009. This translates into a greater variety of trees and more community involvement. Also, following the losses from the hurricane Ike windstorm, the “Plant for the Planet!” tree give-away will aid in the area’s canopy recovery.

Previous participants included many Belknap neighbors and friends, the Boy Scouts, extension service master gardeners, members of the Warheim Park board, foresters with the Kentucky Division of Forestry, the city arborist and local businesses. New among supporters for 2009 are members of  Bellarmine’s Biology Club and neighbors and residents of Deer Park, Highlands-Douglass and the Upper Highlands.

For a wealth of additional information, check out these websites:
http://unep.org/BillionTreeCampaign – for global sponsor
http://BelknapNeighbor.info – for tree info & maps

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