2013-05-04 / Front Page

Barking Up the Right Tree

By Scott Rawdon

Photos by Scott Rawdon Photos by Scott Rawdon JACKSONTOWN - Brilliant blue skies and plenty of new attractions provided for one of the most successful Arbor Day celebrations ever for Dawes Arboretum, said Dawes Public Relations Director Laura Appleman. “We had terrific attendance,” she said, estimating that 4,500 to 5,000 people visited the arboretum Saturday. Appleman said 33 organizations were represented at the celebration. “That’s the most we’ve ever had,” she said. Appleman said Education Di rector Jen ny Pope took over Dawes Arbor Day’s organization. “She made it into a true festival,” said Appleman. “It’s not just about the arboretum.”

Appleman said the arboretum’s charter is to explore trees, history, and nature, not just trees exclusively, and many of the booths and displays were about local history and nature in general. “We had representation from all of those.”

Appleman said Dawes’ main parking lot was full by 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and the event didn’t officially begin until 10 a.m. “We ran out of free trees in 45 minutes,” she said, adding that the Energy Cooperative, which sponsors the event, also ran out of 400 trees it brought as gifts to visitors. Of course, the annual tree-climbing event was a huge hit.

And then there were the Boy Scouts. Appleman said several troops had a campout on the arboretum grounds the weekend of the celebration, and the scouts’ assistance was very helpful in making this year’s event so successful. But, “It honestly has to do with the weather,” said Appleman. On a beautiful sunny spring day like Saturday was, who wouldn’t want to be outside among the flowers? “They help us have a bigger turnout in the spring than during summer,” she said.

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