Reynoldsburg will celebrate Arbor Day by asking residents to help plant five trees and by honoring the winners of a citywide coloring and essay contest.
An Arbor Day celebration begins at 4 p.m. Friday, April 25, at Huber Park, 1520 Davidson Drive.
"We're hoping residents will come out and assist us in planting this year's trees," said Joe Brown, director of the parks and recreation department.
Brown said the city will plant five new trees in Huber Park during the event.
"We will likely have the holes pre-dug, but we will talk about the proper way to plant trees and residents can help with shoveling the dirt and planting the tree," he said. "We will mark these trees with an Arbor Day stamp in concrete next to each tree, signifying they were planted on Arbor Day 2014."
Brown will begin the event with a welcome and introductions at 4 p.m., followed by a prayer by Pastor Aaron DeLong, from the Simple Church in Reynoldsburg. The Color Guard from Reynoldsburg VFW Post 9473 will perform a presentation of colors, then a local Boy Scout troop will lead the crowd in the pledge of allegiance.
Mayor Brad McCloud will read a proclamation at 4:25 p.m. and give an award to the winner of the coloring contest and the essay contest.
The city's Activity Guide for winter and spring included a page for children ages 4-7 to color for the contest and asked children ages 8-13 to write an essay about "the importance of trees."
"We want to make a big deal of the coloring and essay contest winners and then we will talk about Arbor Day and how important trees are for our city," Brown said.
The tree planting will begin at 4:50 p.m.
Brown said the city's Living Legacy tree program is "alive and well."
"We have about nine trees that were scheduled over the winter and we will be planting those in honor of those individuals," he said. "It is a great way to put trees back in the park and they become a living legacy in the city."
The Living Legacy program allows residents to purchase a tree to be planted at Huber Park, Civic Park, John F. Kennedy Park, Livingston House Park, at the Senior Center at Huber or at Pine Quarry Park, to memorialize a loved one or celebrate a wedding, graduation or birth of a child, or as a gift for a special occasion.
The cost is $200 for a two- to three-inch caliper sapling. Parks department personnel will order the tree from a local nursery and plant the tree. The city will maintain the tree.
Brown said a specific site may be requested and the staff will make every effort to honor the request.
A permanent plaque will be installed by the tree and the recipient or family will receive a certificate and card acknowledging the gift.
Species of trees available include cherries, white pine, Chinese elm, redbuds, Washington hawthorne, serviceberry, spruce, sweet gum and others.
More about the Living Legacy program is posted at ci.reynoldsburg.oh.us. Click on the Parks and Recreation link.