Family Arbor Day Fest: A Great Success!
By Michael Clayton, President of the RPC
In spite of cold rainy weather that curtailed some of the planned outdoor activities, attendance exceeded expectations for the premiere of this community event organized by the Riverwoods Preservation Council. Families marveled at the live owls, raptors, turtles, snakes, and frogs as well as the wildlife exhibits from the Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD), the Stillman Nature Center, and the Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest. In recognition of Arbor Day, Mayor Norris planted two ceremonial oaks in between explaining the Village Hall renovation to residents. Information exhibits by the LCFPD, the Mosquito Abatement District, Steve Zimmerman (our Village Ecologist) and our own residents Nancy and Paul Zgonena on beekeeping were enlightening and fun.
Volunteers from the LCFPD worked alongside Riverwoods volunteers to remove buckthorn from the Village-owned property around Village Hall. Also, families planted oak saplings and labeled the deer protection cages with their names. These activities will be a model for resident involvement in the future to assist with woodland restoration of community property.
The Riverwoods Sarpino’s and Jimmy Johns donated food – please patronize these local businesses that support our events. The RPC extends a special thank you to Conserve Lake County, the organization that, among other things, implements the Conservation@Home program in Riverwoods. Their blazing fire pit and hot chocolate were an antidote for the weather while families were given a free potted swamp white oak to plant at home. The only obligation was a promise to plant the trees by Mother’s Day and to plant a kiss goodnight each autumn. A demonstration area illustrated correct and incorrect planting methods to help ensure success.
Arbor Day is the international holiday encouraging planting and care of trees. The Riverwoods Preservation Council along with the Lake County Forest Preserve District and Conserve Lake County have tried to provide a celebration of Arbor Day on our public and private lands. In addition to great memories from the event, we all will have the pleasure of watching our tree planting efforts grow in the future.