By TESA GLASS email@example.com
---- — MT. VERNON — Area residents will be able to sign up to receive a white dogwood or red bud tree during the annual Tree Giveaway program on Saturday.
“Both trees grow to a height of approximately 25 feet and have an approximate 25 foot spread,” information from the Parks and Recreation Department states. “The Mt. Vernon Tree Board and Jefferson County Master Gardeners will be distributing the reserved trees at the Arbor Day Celebration.”
The Arbor Day Celebration will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Veterans Park. The event draws crowds of between 1,000 to 1,500 area residents, and will be held rain or shine, according to Parks and Facilities Director George Bryant.
Activities for the day, in addition to the free tree giveaway, include a petting zoo, tree climbing adventure, sling shot range, arts and crafts, a recycling station and the AmerenIP preserved tree giveaway.
From 10 a.m. to noon, there will be activities and booths, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. free hot dogs and soda and from noon to 12:30, the Arbor Day ceremony will be held. Activities and booths will continue from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Trees for the giveaway are available only to residents in the city limits, but the event is open to anyone in the area. To reserve a tree, you must call the park office at 242-6890 on Wednesday between 9 a.m. and noon, or when all trees available have been reserved. Trees will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis as the availability of stock is limited.
All reserved trees must be picked up between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday during the Arbor Day Celebration.