Arbor Day 2016 will mark 50 years since The University of Toledo’s Stranahan Arboretum opened to the public as a place of beauty, learning and inspiration.
A group of UT students will celebrate the golden anniversary by recreating the tree planting ceremony of five decades ago along with food and games Friday, April 29, from 3 to 8 p.m. at the 47-acre site at Sylvania Avenue and Corey Road.
The free, public event on Arbor Day will feature guided tours and family activities, including potato sack races and Frisbee.
“As a senior project, our group called Team Treedom Arboretum wants to ignite the hope and inspiration that was present 50 years ago by involving both the community and the University,” Matthew Miller, UT student majoring in environmental studies, said. “We want to help make a difference by inspiring the next generation of tree planters with our love of nature and belief in preserving forests for the future.”
“The UT Stranahan Arboretum is not only an outdoor laboratory for ecology and geology classes, it is a place to nurture plants and engage our community in fascinating biodiversity,” Gaber said. “We want to use this milestone to kick off the next 50 years of our work to protect the environment here and across the broader region.”
The W.W. Knight family donated the land to UT in 1964 in memory of Robert Stranahan, founder of Champion Spark Plug Co.
The Stranahan Arboretum opened in 1966 and serves as one of the Department of Environmental Science’s field sites for education and research. It also hosts educational programs for local K-12 school students.
“Trees are amazing. They not only make our world beautiful, they clear our air and clean our water,” Dr. Daryl Dwyer, director of the arboretum, said. “The 50th anniversary of the Stranahan Arboretum should remind us to thank J. Sterling Morton, who with his wife organized the first Arbor Day in Nebraska in 1872 as a holiday that is a promise for the future made by planting trees that ‘grow and self-perpetuate themselves and shed yearly blessings’ on us all.”
Parking will be available at Camp Miakonda located at 5600 W. Sylvania Ave. A UT vehicle will shuttle visitors to Stranahan Arboretum.