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For Immediate Release
News Date: April 21, 2021

Columbus Recreation and Parks Department Invites You to Celebrate Earth Day by Planting Trees This Year

Kerry Francis, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, 740-504-5892 (cell)
Stephanie Garling, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, 614-204-2695 (cell)

COLUMBUS, OH – While we celebrate nature year-round at Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, we’re always excited for Earth Day (Thursday, April 22) and Arbor Day (Friday, April 30) every year! April is a great time of year to celebrate our connection to nature and how it improves our physical and mental well-being. 

“Our mission at Columbus Recreation and Parks Department is to connect the people of our community through the power of nature, wellness and creativity,” said Paul Rakosky, interim director of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. “Nature is a big priority for our department, and we want to encourage Columbus residents to celebrate nature and give back to their communities on Earth Day by spending time outdoors in one of our hundreds of parks, or planting trees or pollinator gardens to benefit the environment.”

Join us by celebrating Earth Day this year! Here are some things you can do:

Plant a tree: Planting trees in our community is crucial for increasing the tree canopy in Columbus, as we have seen through the City’s Urban Forestry Master Plan! Trees improve mental and physical health, reduce air and water pollution, alleviate heat stress, reduce crime, make streets safer and more walkable, increase wildlife habitat and lead to higher property values. Learn some helpful tips about how to plant a tree in your yard! Columbus has been a Tree City USA community for 42 years, and we invite all residents to plant a tree in their yard to celebrate Arbor Day this year. If you already have trees planted in your yard, it is important to prune those trees as well so they continue to be healthy.

Explore what’s waking up: As the weather warms, animals are venturing out, and plants are poking out of the ground. Check out what’s emerging in your backyard, neighborhood or park. Download the free iNaturalist app to identify your finds. Check back over the next few months to see how the habitat changes.

Do some spring cleaning: Clean up any litter that has accumulated over the winter. Practice safety measures such as wearing gloves. If you’re looking for an organized opportunity for your family or group, check out our volunteer program – volunteer opportunities are available throughout the year and include park cleanup events and invasive species removal.

Enjoy nature and get outside: Spending time outside is a great way to celebrate Earth Day, especially after being cooped up all winter! The fresh air and sunshine, combined with some physical activity, can boost your mood and help you stay fit. Take a walk on a trail or spend time in a park.

Plan a wildlife-friendly garden: As you plan your garden, consider planting a pollinator garden using native plants that bloom in the spring and fall. Native plants add to our local biodiversity and support our wildlife. Consider planting milkweed, as they are the only plants that monarch caterpillars can eat. Limit pesticide use in your yard or garden. Check with your local nursery to learn more about native plants that will thrive in your yard.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: Earth Day is Thursday, April 22, and our department will host a tree planting event at Berliner Sports Park from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Approximately 40 members of the Women’s Council of Realtors, Columbus, will donate and plant 15 trees. Councilmember Emmanuel Remy will be in attendance and talking with volunteers.