Grove City will celebrate the 140th anniversary of Arbor Day from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, at Westgrove Park, 3580 Magnolia St.

Grove City will celebrate the 140th anniversary of Arbor Day from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, at Westgrove Park, 3580 Magnolia St.

Individuals are invited to the small shelter to help plant trees, learn about the importance of trees and recycling and receive tree seedlings and other tree-themed giveaways.

"As the name of our community indicates, trees are important to Grove City," Mayor Richard L. "Ike" Stage said in a written statement. "We are proud to be recognized nationally as a Tree City USA community, as we have each year since 1993."

To qualify as a Tree City USA community, a municipality must have a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an Arbor Day observance and a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, according to the Tree City USA website.

During the Arbor Day event, participants can help plant three trees, Grove City urban forester Jodee Lowe said.

The city also will celebrate Earth Day with themed activities for children. Children will get to take seedlings home with them. This year, Lowe chose Dwarf Alberta Spruces for their small size. The trees grow six feet tall and about three feet wide.

"Everyone can actually plant this tree in their flower bed," Lowe said.

Grove City is planting trees elsewhere in the city, as well.

Lowe said she is planting street trees in the West Grove area behind City Hall and the Quail Creek area at Hoover Road and state Route 665. Those are two areas that were seriously affected by the emerald ash borer, an insect from China that infests ash trees.

"That's why we have to remove them," Lowe said.

The city has removed ash trees for the past five years, Lowe said. Previously the city had about 1,700 to 1,500 ash trees planted along the street. About 250 are left.

The city replaces those trees with a variety of trees, such as birch and oak.

In addition to serving an aesthetic purpose, trees absorb and filter rainwater and provide housing for animals, fruit and oxygen, Lowe said.

"It's always important to plant trees," she said.