The Richmond Tree Board’s plans for Arbor Day are in full bloom this year and members already have gone to work by raising awareness throughout the community, said Craig Combs, chairman of the Richmond Tree Advisory Board.

Arbor Day in Kentucky is celebrated on the first Friday in April and the national celebration date is April 25.

The Tree Board’s first Arbor Day planting will be April 22 (Earth Day) at the flagpole area in front of the new Richmond police station at 1721 Lexington Road.

“We’re not talking about just a tree,” Combs said. “There will be several shrubs and some annuals (planted).”

The board was created about a year ago and a lot of groundwork already has been laid, Combs said.

“We have produced three brochures,” he said. “One is informational and about the board and another is about drought-resistant plants. The last one that we did is a ‘How To’ guide to proper care and maintenance (of plants).”

The board is requesting grant funds from the Kentucky Division of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program.

“We think it’s going to be something that will be a benefit to our community,” Combs said. “We want to try to get as much information out as we possibly can.”

Richmond Mayor Connie Lawson signed a proclamation last week deeming April “Arbor Celebration and Tree Month.”

Combs joined Lawson for the proclamation signing along with Deputy Madison County Judge-Executive Linda Ginter and board members Tonita Goodwin and Dianne Shuntich.

The board was formed in February 2007 and consists of seven members who are appointed by Lawson and approved by the Richmond City Commission.

An advisory board is one of the requirements in order for a city to become an official Tree City USA, a designation given by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Tree board members are responsible for educating, promoting and implementing proper planting and landscaping, according to the board’s mission statement.

Board members include Combs, Tonita Goodwin, Bonnie Plummer, Mike Land, Karen Losson, Dianne Shuntich and Amanda Sears.

Madison County students were invited to participate in a national Arbor Day poster contest, and Bluegrass Christian School and Kingston Elementary were the two participants.

“We’re proud of both of these schools and that we were able to spur local representation in this national contest in our first attempt at participation,” Combs said.

Richmond’s Tree Board will be participating in “Spring Into Gardening,” an event to be hosted by the Madison County Extension Office from 6 to 8 p.m. April 10.

Dr. Dwight Barkley, retired Eastern Kentucky University faculty member in the Department of Agriculture, will be teaching a course about this topic at the upcoming Spring into Gardening workshop at the Madison County Extension Office. 

This workshop also will offer classes about herbs, water gardening, the physical therapy of gardening, landscaping with trees and shrubs and topiaries and container gardens.

Visit ces.ca.uky.edu/madison/fcs for more information about the event.

For more information about Richmond’s Tree Board, visit www.richmond.ky.us.

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