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City Celebrates Trees at Arbor Day Ceremony This Friday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 25, 2016

For more information, please contact:

Paula McDevitt, Acting Director, City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, 812.349.3713 or mcdevitp@bloomington.in.gov

City Celebrates Trees at Arbor Day Ceremony This Friday

Bloomington, Ind. - The Bloomington landscape changed forever with the removal of one of the city's oldest and largest trees from Seminary Park in January, but the city is planting three additional trees in Seminary Park this Friday for the benefit of future generations of Bloomingtonians.

The City of Bloomington is hosting an Arbor Day ceremony at Seminary Park April 29 at noon. Guest speakers include members of the Bloomington Tree Commission, a representative of the Bloomington Parks Foundation, and Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton. The city will celebrate Arbor Day by planting a bur oak, a red oak, and a yellowwood tree in the park. The bur oak will be placed where the 175-year-old white oak tree that had to be removed earlier this year once stood.

"We are proud of the fact that Bloomington became Indiana's first Tree City USA back in 1984," said Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department Acting Director Paula McDevitt. "The people of Bloomington recognized 32 years ago that trees are not only nice to look at, but they also clean and filter our air, cool our parking lots and homes, and contribute to our city's considerable appeal. Arbor Day is a good time to reflect on all the things a healthy, growing urban forest can provide."

The Bloomington Parks Foundation will announce at the ceremony the kickoff campaign for supporting the planting of new trees around the Courthouse Square. The Downtown Square Trees Campaign will share with the city the cost of removing and replacing trees around the square, and of enlarging the tree plots and installing tree grates to protect the sensitive roots of the new trees.

"The urban environment is a tough place for a tree," said Lee Huss, urban forester with the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department. "In 2015, we removed 476 hazardous trees from the public right of way, but we were able to replace those, and more, by planting 593 trees around the city. The Parks Foundation, and our Tree City, are moving in the right direction and protecting the character of our historic downtown by making tree placement a priority."

Members of the public are invited to attend the short Arbor Day ceremony and to help plant the three Arbor Day trees.

For more information about Arbor Day in Bloomington, or about Bloomington's urban forestry program, call the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department at 812.349.3700 or e-mail parks@bloomington.in.gov.

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