The city of South Bend’s Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with the Michiana Earth Day Resource Center, Tree Board Advisory Council, and Indiana-Michigan Power (AEP) to host an Earth Day and Arbor Day event this Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.
The event is being held at Howard Park, 219 S. St. Louis Boulevard near downtown South Bend.
AEP is giving away 155 trees to city residents ranging from dogwoods and Canada red chokecherry to ivory silk lilacs. The trees will be given away for free on a first-come, first-serve basis. Residents must be able to transport the trees in their own vehicles.
City Forester Brent Thompson will be in attendances to provide tips on how to best plant the trees and care for them. There will also be a free seeds and plant exchange, ecology activities for kids, and live music.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg will give a proclamation declaring South Bend an official Tree City USA at 11 am.
“Thanks to our Parks and Recreation Department and committed local organizations, the City is able to participate in way that makes a tangible, positive contribution to the community,” Mayor Buttigieg says.
Earth Day started in 1970 as an effort to advance environmental protection. That same year the Environmental Protection Agency was created in an executive order by President Richard Nixon. The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 and the Endangered Species Act in 1973.
Earth Day is often marked with environmental discussions, clean-ups, and protests in support of environmental causes.
One such clean-up took place on the local level as part of the Renaissance District Beautification Project just south of downtown South Bend. Volunteers worked from morning until mid-afternoon cleaning up brush, spreading top soil, and painting fire hydrants.
This year marks the 27th annual Earth Day celebration in South Bend, and the 17th year that South Bend has held the designation as a Tree City USA.
Image Credit: Toshiyuki IMAI, flickr