The official state Arbor Day celebration will be held on Nov. 3, at the city’s Grand Central Park. The event will feature tree giveaways, entertainment and educational booths.
Oct. 30, 2017
Grand Prairie will host the annual Texas State Arbor Day celebration on Nov. 3, at the city’s Grand Central Park.
The official state event is held in a different host city each fall – a better time for planting trees in Texas than the spring.
“Grand Prairie is a great site for Texas State Arbor Day,” said Susan Henson, arborist of the city of Grand Prairie. “We take pride that we are the second oldest Tree City, USA in the state of Texas."
Grand Prairie has a history of tree appreciation. At one time pecan orchards flourished in the area and there are still many old growth pecan trees dotting the urban landscape.
Henson said even though the city is growing rapidly, they’re going above and beyond to protect the existing tree canopy and increasing the city’s urban forest. An example can be found in the recent construction of a massive indoor waterpark and recreation center. When Grand Central Park was prepared for construction, more than 150 existing trees were moved to different locations on the site.
“I moved over a hundred trees, 6 to 10 inches in diameter so they would not have to be cut down,” said Henson.
A tree planted for Grand Prairie's Living Memorial Forest program.
An additional 250 trees were planted at Grand Central Park to enhance the site and increase the existing tree canopy, and more trees will be planted in the future.
In addition about 50 trees have been planted for the city’s Living Memorial Forest Program. The program, started in 2001, allows residents to plant a tree in honor of a loved one or a special entity. For a $250 fee, residents can help in site selection and provide verbiage for a plaque. The tree is then cared for, for life.
As for the Arbor Day festivities this week, the event will kick off with a ceremony featuring keynote speaker Dave Lambe, president of the National Arbor Day Foundation, along with other local representatives.
After the ceremony, guests can browse about 25 informational and kid-friendly booths that cover outdoor-related topics like tree planting and maintenance. Entertainment will be provided by four-time Grammy-nominated Trout Fishing in America, the Grand Prairie ISD Mariachi band and drumline and the Grand Prairie High School Show Choir.
Attendees can then take home one of 1,300 Texas red oak seedlings being giving away with planting instructions. Henson said the young trees actually adapt better to the local clay soil than more established transplanted trees with root balls. And they will spring up quickly.
“In five years, that tree can be 6 or 7 feet tall and you can be sitting under it enjoying its shade.”
State Arbor Day Celebration
About: In Texas, the official state Arbor Day celebration is held in a different host city each year on the first Friday in November. This year's event will be held in Grand Prairie.
When: Nov. 3, 10 a.m.
Where: Grand Central Park, 2975 Esplanade, Grand Prairie
Cost: The event is free and open to the public.