First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear leads state Arbor Day ceremony in Louisville

Press Release Date:  Thursday, April 15, 2010  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Roach

Gov. Proclaims April 15 Arbor Day in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear today commemorated Kentucky’s 118th annual Arbor Day event by joining Louisville Metro Government and the Kentucky Division of Forestry in hosting a tree planting ceremony in Louisville. Gov. Steve Beshear also proclaimed April 15 Arbor Day in the Commonwealth.

“Trees not only provide tremendous environmental benefits but economic and social benefits as well,” said First Lady Jane Beshear. “Although the world around them has changed, their importance has not.”

During the event, a Littleleaf Linden was planted at Newburg Library, Louisville’s newest and “greenest” library.  Jefferson County Tree City USA Communities, including Louisville Metro Government, Bellemeade, Anchorage, Watterson Park, Kingsley, Lyndon, Prospect and Strathmoor Manor were also recognized for their efforts to promote community forestry.

“We cannot underestimate the value of trees to any community. The benefits are countless, from their beauty and shade to the way they conserve energy and filter our air,” said Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. “Earning the Tree City USA designation is an honor and an affirmation of the planning and care that has gone into nurturing our trees. I hope others are inspired to look around their hometowns and see what they can do. It’s an investment that will pay off for years to come.”

Arbor Day in Kentucky has been a tradition for more than 100 years and Kentuckians throughout the state’s history have celebrated this day by planting trees and showing their appreciation for this valuable resource.

Leah MacSwords, director of the Kentucky Division of Forestry, acknowledged the importance of environmental stewardship and Arbor Day in Kentucky.

“The environment is a priority for all our citizens and planting trees is an act of good stewardship for Kentucky’s forests, parks, communities and wildlife,” said MacSwords.

In addition to recognizing the communities, the Division of Forestry recognized Owen County Utility as a new Tree Line USA utility and Berea College as a new Tree Campus USA.  The Tree City USA program is a national program sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters.

Many other Arbor Day events have been planned throughout Kentucky.  Schools, communities and organizations throughout the state have held or plan to hold their own Arbor Day ceremonies to highlight the many social, environmental and economic benefits that trees provide.  For more information about the state ceremony or other Arbor Day events, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 1-800-866-0555 or visit the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Web site at