A Deep Rooted Celebration
JACKSONTOWN- April showers don’t just bring May flowers—they bring Dawes A rboret u m’s an nual Arbor Day celebration as well. “ I n general, it was a huge success,” said Dawes’ Public Relations Director Lau ra Applema n. “ We had just about 4,000 people.” She said Saturday morning the skies were overcast and rainy, threatening to dampen turnout to the annual event, but by 10 a.m. the skies were clear, the sun was out, and lots of people suf fer i ng f rom cabi n fever following a gr ueling winter f locked to the Arboretum in droves.
Appleman said this year’s celebration feat u red booths from 30 organizations— including the traditional kids’ tree climbing outfit—and four food trucks. She said a Velvet IceCreamtruckgaveaway 1,500 ice cream bars, which didn’t last long. “In the end, they were cutting them in half,” Appleman said.
This Arbor Day marked the opening of Dawes’ Histor y Center. Historian Leslie Wagner said the History Center has been an everchanging space in The Dawes Arboretum’ s history—a garage for the Dawes family, the headquarters of the history department, and now a space to showcase artifacts and archival materials. The History Center features four different exhibits focusing on the history of the Arboretum, founders Beman and Ber tie Dawes, the Arboretum’s Tree Dedicators and The Pure Oil Company.
Appleman said the sensory garden was also a new feature to the Arbor Day celebration. “Our activities we try to keep new each year,” she said, adding that Park National Bank and Ohio Magazine sponsored the event.
For Appleman, it’s no surprise Dawes’ Arbor Day celebration has remained extremely popular over the years. “It’s that first big event of the year. It kicks off the season for being outside,” she said. “This is the arboretum’s favorite event.”