• By Carol Lea Spence

The Arboretum celebrates Earth Month with annual Party for the Planet

April is Earth Month, and this year The Arboretum, the State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, will be cultivating connections all month long through their annual celebration, Party for the Planet. With the support of presenting sponsor Kentucky Utilities, the annual party offers special activities focused on environmental topics and is designed to help adults and children connect to nature.

Bring the kids and get a start on spring in the Kentucky Children’s Garden’s Celebrating the Seasons Series from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 7. The entire family can enjoy a fun, educational experience, as they visit booths that include demonstrations, crafts and plant giveaways. Regular admission applies: $3 per person or $10 for a family of up to five people. The planting of the official Arbor Day tree, a Magnolia acuminata, will take place at 11 a.m.The Magnolia acuminata, native to the Eastern United States, is commonly known as a cucumber magnolia or blue magnolia. It is one of the largest and most cold hardy of the genus.

The Cultivating Connections workshop series, the first three of which are suggested for ages 13 and up, begins 5:30 to 7 p.m. April 5 and continues eachThursday throughout April at the same time. Preregistration is required, with a suggested donation of $3 per person or $5 per family. Each session is limited to 30 people, with the exception of the April 26 workshop, which is limited to 75 participants.

Party for the Planet wraps up with Arbor Day at The Arboretum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28. The ceremony will include Kentucky’s Arbor Day Proclamation, Lexington’s Arbor Day Proclamation, and presentation of the Tree Campus and Tree City USA awards. There will be tree giveaways, exhibitor tents and the annual birdhouses and birdfeeders display.

To register for workshops, call The Arboretum at 859-257-6955. More information about Party for the Planet and other Arboretum activities are online athttp://arboretum.ca.uky.edu/calendar. The Arboretum began in 1991 as a joint effort between UK and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. It is located near UK’s campus at 500 Alumni Drive and offers more than 100 acres of trails, waterways, native trees, a children’s garden and exhibits.

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