In-Your-Face Tree Fun, Free Trees and Tree Planting Tips for Arbor Day!

Tall or short, full or droopy, fruit-bearing or nutty: Trees, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. And of course, like people, they’re awesome for lots of different reasons.

From climbing trees as a kid, enjoying their shade as a teenager, or eating cherries grown in my own backyard, I’m happy to be a fan and I hope to instill the appreciation of trees in my 2-year-old son, who can’t wait to reach that first low hanging branch and begin his own climbing adventures.

So planning the Arbor Day Celebration for the Indiana State Museum is less like work for me and more like hosting a great big party for all of the trees that have contributed to my memories growing up. From the energetic program Trees, Who Needs ‘Em? to free trees, tree planting advice, tree trivia and wood art – I get to go hog wild with in-your-face tree fun each and every Arbor Day.

In addition to free trees (American plum and gray dogwood this year) and tree planting advice from the Department of Natural Resources, we’ll have a wood turner, live animals, Native American plant use, dulcimer building, tree science, bonsai trees and tons more!

Purdue will be on-hand to talk about tree-destroying insects and a giant Smokey Bear will remind us all that only we can prevent forest fires. Live demonstrations, take home treats, plus the chance to talk to tree experts and artists will round out one very nature-filled day and I hope you get a chance to stop by and enjoy the party.

Come join our Arbor Day party on Friday, April 30! For a full list of this year’s participants, please visit the official Indiana State Museum Arbor Day page.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

When I Say, “Arbor” You Say, “Day”…

Marcus Harshaw, museum program specialist and Arbor Day facilitation extraordinaire, shares his thoughts on the 2009 Arbor Day Celebration.

Children enjoying the "Trees, Who Needs 'Em" program.

Children enjoying the "Trees, Who Needs 'Em" program.

Did you ever say, “I want to be an arborist when I grow up?” Me neither, but after another successful Arbor Day Celebration, it has me considering a career change! (Part-time of course) The day was filled with so many activities and so much to learn about trees that one could not leave the museum without a new respect for trees.

Greeted at the front door by Indiana 811’s Holey Moley, over 1,700 visitors from schools across the great state of Indiana were on hand to participate in the festivities. DNR Forestry distributed free redbud trees to everyone to plant in their own backyards and ran out of trees by noon! Tim Womick returned to play his classic role as Johnny Appleseed, and a towering 15-foot tall Smokey Bear was on hand reminding us that only we could prevent forest fires.

arbor_day_smokeyTim’s visit was joined by Treesearch Scientist Professor Arbor E. Tum, and Indiana’s favorite survivor Rupert Boneham of Survivor: Pearl Islands and Survivor: All Stars. They all joined forces to teach everyone about proper tree care, stewardship. We were all reminded of the wonderful things trees give us including oxygen, and food. Trees create a treecosystyem and provide plants and animals with shelter and food. Trees even help the treeconomy by providing jobs! One job in particular is one held by Chad Brey. As an arborist he climbs trees to take care of them, and demonstrated how to climb trees by climbing up and down the side of the café building in the Governor O’Bannon Great Hall! My favorite part is when Tim asked the audience if it was ever okay to cut down a tree, and we all answered no as if we were hypnotized! Of course the answer is yes it is okay to cut down trees as Tim reminded us with a roll of toilet paper.

After the t-shirts were distributed and the Frisbees were tossed into the crowd, it was time to plant a tree! Dozens of students migrated to the redbud garden on the east side of the museum to help Tim plant this year’s redbud tree, and as quickly as the event began it was over. Learn, teach, give away free stuff, and have fun? All in a day’s work at your Indiana State Museum.

Until next year,

When I say Arbor, you say Day, ARBOR …