Friday, January 16, 2009

Reminder: Festival of Trees Tomorrow!

The 4th Annual Festival of Trees returns this Saturday, January 17th from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at
the Lake Worth Cultural Plaza located at 414 Lake Avenue in historic downtown Lake Worth. This free family event will feature live music throughout the day as well as educational opportunities stressing the environmental and personal health benefits of trees and plants. Local nurseries and plant societies will be offering a stunning array of native trees and plants for sale to the public.

“This is a great opportunity for residents to buy directly from local nurseries, learn how to prune and care for their trees, and ask that nagging question ‘what’s eating my plant?’” said Gael Silverblatt, Chair of the Lake Worth City Tree Board. “People have a lot of fun, listen to great music and it’s all free. Don’t have a green thumb? Attend the Plant Clinic from 11 a.m. - Noon, hosted by expert gardener and author Robert Haehle. In addition to being the author of two books, “Native Florida Plants,” and “A Garden Diary: A Guide to Gardening in South Florida,” Haehle hosts a Sunday morning radio show “Garden Talk” and has been a Garden Columnist for the Sun-Sentinel for over a decade.

City of Lake Worth Grounds Maintenance Supervisor David McGrew believes the event is a wonderful way to provide the public with educational information about tree care and canopy restoration. “People don’t realize how important a vibrant tree canopy is, not only for the aesthetic value, but also the benefits of shade, animal habitat and carbon reduction in urban areas.” Instructional opportunities will include demonstrations on proper tree pruning, planting techniques, yard birdscaping, water harvesting, composting, the restoration of hurricane damaged tree canopy and much more. “We’re stewards of the environment, and this event gives us the information we need to be responsible ones,” McGrew adds.

This year’s live music will run the gambit from jazz to folk to rock. Local band Sound Proof will take the stage from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. and again from 12 Noon - 2 p.m. According to Jason Hanley, spokesperson and band member, the music of Sound Proof can be described as “impromptu, good feeling music, spiced with jazz, blues and world music.” At 2 p.m. a trio of local artists will entertain guests with their lively combination of blue grass, jazz and contemporary rock ‘n roll.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to view the colorful new nylon banners depicting native leafs and flowers which line the light poles on Dixie and Federal Highways. These banners were commissioned by the Lake Worth City Tree Board and handcrafted by renowned American artist Bill Godfrey. Throughout the event informational materials will be available to all, and environmental educational opportunities will be provided by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the Native Plant Society, the Sierra Club, the Marshall Foundation, the Solid Waste Authority, the South Florida Water Management District and the Department of Environmental Resource Management. Event sponsors include the City of Lake Worth, Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency, Lake Worth City Tree Board, and the Palm Beach Post.