Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 16 Arbor Day Festival Offers Fun for the Entire Family

Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will co-sponsor Stay Co2ol With Trees, Richmond’s third annual Arbor Day celebration with fun and information for everyone in the family. Come out and enjoy the activities at the Carillon in Byrd Park on Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's free to attend and will be held rain or shine. At the event, children can climb trees, hunt “treasure,” create art or make a pinecone bird feeder. They will meet PBS KIDS’ Clifford the Big Red Dog and Nutzy, the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ mascot, as well as members of the Richmond Police Department’s Mounted Patrol and the Richmond Fire Department. The Sharon Rae North Trio, a jazz combo, will entertain; tree care professionals will be on hand to offer expert advice; and woodcarvers will demonstrate their skill. Plants, landscaping services, pruning tools and more will be exhibited and on sale, and a “Wow! Tree Walk” will be held throughout the event. What's a “Wow! Tree Walk?” It’s “Wow! I didn’t know bad mulching could kill a tree! Wow! I didn't know that trees can reduce street maintenance costs . . . raise property values . . . reduce summer and winter energy costs!” Wow, it's free park walks led by experts who will answer all your questions about trees. Also on the program, from 11 a.m. to noon, Lou Verner, wildlife-mapping coordinator of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, will explain “Why We Won’t Save Wildlife Without Native Plant Landscapes.” In addition, gardening expert Richard Nunnally will be on hand to talk with fans and help solve plant problems. The festival will conclude with a ceremonial tree planting presented by the American Legion Post 84 with their Color Guard and Memorial Rifles. Arbor Day sponsors include the Richmond Tree Stewards, Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, and Richmond’s Urban Forestry Division of the Department of Public Works. Gold corporate sponsors include Dominion, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Community Idea Stations Public Broadcasting. Silver Sponsors include Cisneros Roofing, Colesville Nursery, Davey Tree Expert Co., Glen Allen Nursery, Riverside Outfitters and Virginia Department of Forestry. Bronze Sponsors include Arborscapes LLC, Circle Safety & Health Consultants LLC, Ginter Park Residents Association, Hudgins Landscaping, James River Grounds Management, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Richmond International Raceway, Truetimber Tree Service Inc., Vermeer Mid Atlantic, and Westover Hills Neighborhood Association. The Richmond Tree Stewards are trained volunteers who help the arborists of Urban Forestry care for trees along city streets and in parks. In 2010, they volunteered more than 1,500 hours of service to the city. You too can be a Tree Steward. Learn more at or visit with them at the festival.