Crawfordville’s 8th Arbor Day Celebration – and tree-giveaway – at Hudson Park on Saturday attracted more than 600 people and found homes for more than 1800 trees. Event organizers and attendees alike deemed the event a success.
Each festival goer could choose one free tree from among the following: river birch, bald cypress, southern red oak, turkey oak, basket oak, sugarberry, pignut hickory, parsley hawthorn, flatwoods plum, chickasaw plum, persimmon, fringe tree, dogwood, and chinkapin. The young trees were all in pots and most were several feet tall.
After 12 noon, people could take additional trees for a requested donation of $3 per tree. In addition, the Florida Forest Service gave away 1,000 longleaf pine seedlings. By the festival’s end at 1:00 pm, fewer than 200 trees remained.
Families took advantage of the warm weather to enjoy the music and festivities, sample the food and Iris Garden Club’s baked goods, and view the many exhibits and vendor booths. Two lucky raffle winners walked off with beautiful, large trees – a rusty blackhaw donated by Just Fruits & Exotics and a Shumard Oak donated by Purple Martin Nursery.
Children were eager to go home and plant their new trees. Several people reported that the tree they obtained at last year’s celebration was thriving and now 4-5 feet tall.
Jeannie Brodhead, President of the Iris Garden Club, and Lynn Artz, founder and co-coordinator of the annual Arbor Day Celebration, are already planning what kinds of trees to order for 2014. Members of the Iris Garden Club soon will be potting hundreds of bare root trees to give away at the 2013 Arbor Day celebration.