Residents of Lafayette participated the City’s 27th Arbor Day Celebration in the parking lot of Mount Hope Church on Saturday, May 1. Approximately 100 Greater Lafayette residents, including Purdue students, came together to commemorate this special event.

Arbor Day celebrations occur all over the United States each year; the turnout in Lafayette is always very impressive. This event, Tree Lafayette’s biggest and most notable each year, brings everyone together to recognize the work they have done sharing in a common purpose. Volunteers then accomplish a lot in a short amount of time by planting new trees in our city’s urban landscape. 

Tree Lafayette plants, prunes, and waters hundreds and hundreds of trees in the city every week. The City of Lafayette has actually been named a Tree City USA for the 28thconsecutive year for their work done to promote and care for trees; the city has met the four requirements needed to officially be recognized as a Tree City USA: A Tree Board or Department, A Tree Care Ordinance, A Community Forestry Program with an Annual Budget of at Least $2 Per Capita, and an Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation.

The event began at 9:30 a.m. with Mayor Tony Roswarski addressing the crowd. Mayor Roswarski enumerated the numerous benefits of trees for the city and thanked Tree Lafayette for their creation of an urban forest, before he proclaimed May 1st as Lafayette's official Arbor Day. Later, in an interview, he expressed his appreciation for the organization sharing in the work done by the city to promote trees.

“We’ve been very fortunate for many years regarding Arbor Day,” Mayor Roswarski said. “We had another great turnout, and this is just going to really beautify this part of 15th Street.”

The mayor’s speech was immediately followed by volunteers spreading out to plant 66 trees all along 15th Street. Black Gum trees and Swamp Oak trees were among the trees planted today, selected by Lafayette’s Urban Forester, Tim Detzner, for their appropriateness in the roadside environment. These trees will provide numerous benefits to our community for not only current residents, but future generations to come.