Plant for the Planet! Local Tree Giveaway for Kentucky Arbor Day
Next month, the Belknap, Deer Park, Highlands-Douglass and Upper Highlands neighborhood associations, along with Metro Council districts 8 and 9, individual donors and community businesses, will celebrate Kentucky Arbor Day by giving away 1,500 trees from the Kentucky Division of Forestry to anyone signing the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) pledge to plant and nurse the trees to adulthood. 
The trees are 12- to 24-inch, bare-root seedlings. Understory species include eastern redbud, flowering dogwood and pawpaw, all of which grow to some 30 feet. Canopy species, maturing into 70- to 120-foot trees, include bald cypress, black gum, black oak, shellbark hickory, sycamore and white pine. Additional trees available may include black walnut, Kentucky coffeetree and willow oak. 
The ‘’Plant for the Planet!’’ event will take place at the Douglass Community Center, 2305 Douglass Blvd., on Saturday, April 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (or later), rain or shine. Parking is adjacent to the Metro Police 5th Division substation and along Douglass Boulevard. 
The annual event offers wrapped trees, light refreshments and information from the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension master gardeners, as well as expert advice from the Kentucky Division of Forestry Chief Forester Robert Bean, along with arborists, tree huggers and area naturalists associated with the Olmsted Parks Conservancy
Organizer Stephen R. Spanyer is again spearheading the event in an expanded joint Highlands effort. The UNEP has increased its goal to 13 billion trees to be planted worldwide, with over 11.2 billion planted to date. The Highlands tree giveaway has grown from 300 seedlings in 2007 to more than 1,500 seedlings on order for 2011. This translates into a large variety of trees and more community involvement, according to Spanyer, who says that following the losses from the ice and wind storms, the tree giveaway continues to aid canopy recovery. Over the last four years, about 1,200 trees have benefitted the Highlands ZIP code 40205, with the balance of 3,100 planted throughout the city and nearby counties.
Volunteers are needed to help execute the ‘’Plant for the Planet!’’ event in April. E-mail Spanyer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (502) 459-1405 with your availability and area in which you would like to help.
Volunteers Needed for 2011 Community Garden Program
Local nonprofit Louisville Grows is looking for volunteers for their 2011 Community Garden Program. Participants will have the opportunity to work with a burgeoning garden as a Louisville Grows Garden Liaison or as a volunteer.
Garden liaisons will be required to spend at least one hour a week at their assigned community garden and to attend all Louisville Grows garden liaison meetings and workshops. The meetings, which take place every three weeks, will focus on training volunteers in sustainable urban agriculture and fielding questions about their assigned gardens. Volunteers will learn practices in sustainability, community health and food justice. Volunteers are also needed at events such as harvest days or plantings.
Those interested in volunteering this summer with Louisville Grows can find guidelines and more information at A general meeting will be held at 1622 Fernwood Avenue on Monday, March 7, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Louisville Grows is a group that has been operating for just over one year. In their first year they helped start eight community gardens throughout the city, from the University of Louisville to 26th and Jefferson streets.