Plant a tree this Arbor Day

Ohioans wanting to celebrate Arbor Day this year are encouraged to donate and help plant a tree at Ohio State Parks.

In return for their efforts, participants will receive two free nights of camping for each tree they donate and help plant.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is encouraging park visitors to donate mature native tree saplings and help park staff and volunteers plant them in an effort to replace trees that were affected by the emerald ash borer infestation. A number of ash trees within the state parks system were removed as they posed a safety risk for visitors. The plantings will take place at four Arbor Day celebrations being held in southwest and northeast Ohio on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Arbor Day tree plantings will be held at four state parks — Cowan Lake, Hueston Woods and Stonelick in southwest Ohio and Portage Lakes in northeast Ohio. State park visitors will receive two free nights of camping during the 2014 season at the state park of their choice for each donated mature sapling that is at least 5 feet in height. To receive the two free nights of camping, state park visitors must help staff and volunteers plant the tree. Ohio State Parks requests that people donate native tree species, such as red maple, red oak, burr oak, yellow poplar and beech.

Other volunteers and staff, as well as all necessary equipment and supplies, will be provided by each local state park. In addition to tree plantings, the celebrations will include naturalist-led activities for visitors of all ages. People interested in planting a tree on Arbor Day are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to plant saplings that will be enjoyed by state park visitors for generations to come and improve the environment.

All questions regarding local Arbor Day tree plantings should be directed to the local park offices:

Stonelick State Park – (513) 734-4323