MT. VERNON — Organizers hope the annual Arbor Day Celebration at Veterans Park serves as both a fun family event and an educational experience for those who attend.
This year’s celebration takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the park. The free event is presented by the Mt. Vernon Parks and Recreation Department.
In addition to family activities, the celebration will also offer information on Arbor Day and the right way to plant trees.
“It’s just a chance to get out and enjoy our parks (and) see what we’ve been doing for Arbor Day,” said Wes Plummer, recreation coordinator for the Parks Department.
This is the sixth year of the local Arbor Day Celebration. In past years when the weather was nice, the event has drawn close to 1,000 people, Plummer said.
Plummer said Arbor Day has become a major holiday for the Parks Department, especially in recent years.
Veterans Park sustained major damage during the storms in July 2006, and more than 100 trees were lost there, Plummer said.
“Mt. Vernon is a Tree City USA,” Plummer said. “We’re still recovering from the storms that happened in 2006. We’re still planting trees to replace the ones that we lost.”
Saturday’s gathering will feature a wide range of family friendly activities. Nelson Tree Service will offer rope climbing for kids and Jefferson County 4-H will bring animals for a petting zoo.
Also, the Mt. Vernon Kiwanis Club will be serving free hot dogs and drinks, and WSIL Channel 3 will be programming weather radios, Plummer said.
There will also be drawings held for new weather radios and other door prizes.
“It’s just a chance for a family activity that’s free,” Plummer said.
In addition Saturday, information will be provided by the Modern Woodmen of America, the Girl Scouts, the Mt. Vernon Tree Board, Ameren and other groups.