Arbor Day Events in the Rockford Park District

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Arbor Day is April 26, 2013, and the Rockford Park District, City of Gardens, and other area organizations are providing multiple ways to celebrate. Arbor Day is a special day set aside to inspire all of us to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.

Free Tree Seedlings
Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens will give away free tree seedlings to the first 100 visitors on Friday, April 26, 2013. Doors open at 9 a.m., and in honor of Arbor Day, everyone will receive $2 off regular admission.

Additional Beautification Efforts in the Rockford Park District
The City of Gardens works year-round to create a beautiful environment for people to live, work, and play. A main goal is to develop awareness and appreciation of the many pleasant sights throughout the community. This year, beautification efforts include providing grants to help improve the quality of life in neighborhoods, and offering a special series called “Let’s Get Growing,” which will offer a variety of planting tips to the community.

City of Gardens Flower Giveaway
Flowers often raise spirits and provide a wonderful source of pride in the community. The City of Gardens will give away mini-grants allowing neighborhood groups to receive one of five flats of flowers. A class on proper planting techniques takes place on April 24, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. 2nd Street, Rockford. This is a free class where residents can receive tips and advice about how to grow and care for vegetation. City of Gardens staff will also be on hand to answer questions about grant opportunities.

Applications are due May 7, 2013. Groups receiving flowers can pick up their flat(s) on National Public Gardens Day, which is May 10, 2013, at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. Once planted, groups will also submit photos, and all will be recognized in the fall.

Spring Kick-Off Event
The Rockford Park District’s City of Gardens is holding its Spring Kick-Off on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. Social hour begins at 5:30 with a program starting at 6:00 p.m. Cost is $20 per person and reservations can be made by calling 815-987-8858. The winners of this year’s Atwood Award, Paula Swanson and Katie Townsend, will also be honored at the dinner. The Atwood Award is presented for outstanding contributions in the field of public conservation, and is presented by the Rockford Park District, Rockford Park District Foundation, and Winnebago County Forest Preserve District. The award consists of a plaque of Kentucky Coffee tree wood with an Atwood memorial medal attached, a plate describing the award, and an inscription bearing the date and name of the recipient.

Let’s Get Growing Series – Next Class: May 18, 2013
A class featuring tips and demonstrations to introduce vegetable gardening to novice gardeners will take place on May 18, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. Admission is free, but anyone interested must pre-register. Space is limited to the first 50 people. Those in attendance will receive a “garden to go” kit complete with a tomato plant and a variety of seeds to get your garden started.

For more information contact the City of Gardens at 815-987-8858, or

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