Fernwood Botanical Garden to celebrate Arbor Day

NILES — A local garden will be celebrating nature later this month.

Arbor Day, a day when individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees, will be celebrated by Fernwood Botanical Garden on Friday, April 27.

Arbor Day traces its roots back to 1872 when Julius Sterling Morton, a Nebraska journalist, established the first celebration. Morton, originally from Michigan, was the father of Joy Morton who founded the Morton Salt Company in Chicago and created the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illnois, in 1922.

Clarence Godshalk, the longtime director of the Morton Arboretum, assisted Fernwood’s founder, Kay Boydston, in designing the Fernwood Arboretum in the mid-1960s.

Fernwood will provide a number of activities to celebrate Arbor Day including:

• 2 p.m. — Tree planting in the Arboretum, which the public is invited to attend. More than 1,000 individual plants have been planted in this area since 1967, representing approximately 500 different species and varieties of woody plants suitable for this region.

• Following the tree planting, a guided walk through the Arboretum will be offered by Fernwood’s horticulturalists. The meadow style arboretum features mowed meandering paths that take visitors through various plant groupings, including oaks, maples, cherries, beech, magnolia, lilac, firs, spruce, crabapple, larch and more, said Fernwood officials.

• Free tree saplings will be available in the garden shop while supplies last.

• Planting of a tree with local second grade students at Oak Manor School in Niles.

Fernword comprises 105 acres on the St. Joseph River near Buchanan, MI, at 13988 Range Line Road, Niles.

Until May 1, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Cafe hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Call (269) 695.6491 or visit fernwoodbotanical.org for more information, including volunteer and donation opportunities and to confirm status of classes.

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