Arbor Day Festival in Byrd Park Saturday

Stay Co2ol With Trees, Richmond’s third annual Arbor Day festival, offers a big menu of fun and information for everyone in the family. Come out for a day of fun at the Carillon in Byrd Park on Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Arbor Day celebration is free to attend and will be held rain or shine.

Youth will be encouraged to climb trees, hunt “treasure,” create art or make a pinecone bird feeder. Youngsters can meet PBS KIDS’ Clifford the Big Red Dog, Nutzy, the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ mascot, and members of the Richmond Police Department’s Mounted Patrol and the Richmond Fire Department. Additional activities include jazz by the Sharon Rae North Trio, advice from tree care professionals, woodcarvers at work, plant exhibits, nursery plant vendors, landscaping services, pruning tools, a “Wow! Tree Walk,” and more.

What’s a “Wow! Tree Walk?” It’s “Wow! I didn’t know that 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!” It’s Wow, a walk that will be held throughout the day to 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 his 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 are the Richmond Tree Stewards, Richmond’s Urban Forestry Division of the Department of Public Works, and Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. Corporate sponsors include Gold Sponsors: 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.

Richmond Tree Stewards are trained volunteers who help the arborists of Urban Forestry care for trees along city streets and in parks. Learn more at http://richmondtreestewards.wordpress.com. In 2010, Richmond Tree Stewards volunteered more than 1,500 hours of service to the city.

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