The city of Albany is inviting its residents to see its forest for its trees.
For the 19th consecutive year, the National Arbor Day Foundation has named Albany as a Tree City USA, recognizing the city’s commitment to maintaining what it calls “a healthy urban forest.”
This year, the slate of Arbor Week activities planned by Albany Parks & Recreation and the Albany Tree Commission includes a new community event Saturday, April 13, for people to honor that urban forest.
Arbor Week runs April 8-13. Saturday’s free events will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Timber-Linn Memorial Park, 900 Price Road S.E.
At the park, visitors will be invited to learn how to properly plant, prune and identify trees, and then take a free tree home to plant.
Presentations are scheduled by representatives from the Calapooia Watershed Council and the Audubon Society of Corvallis. Participants can learn about water quality in the Willamette River, restoration work at Cox Creek, bat habitats at Simpson Park, and Oregon’s native plants.
Children are invited to make their own binoculars and participate in environmental education activities with Albany’s Eco Ranger program.
The day will end with a trolley tour of close to a dozen of Albany’s most significant heritage trees, including a white oak outside the historic Keyhole House at 1638 First Ave. S.E.
Designated a heritage tree just last year, the oak is thought to be between 125 and 175 years old, said Mark Azevedo, a volunteer with the tree commission. The tree is a classic example of both Oregon’s original white oak stands and of the way early settlers in the Hackleman Historic District would place their homes so as to show both home and tree together at their best.
A separate tree tour is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10, on the campus of Oregon State University. Longtime landscape manager Joe Majeski will lead a free walking tour of the trees and talk about the campus’ historic buildings.
For more information about Arbor Week activities in Albany, visit www.cityofalbany.net/departments/parks-and-recreation.