Wellington To Honor Earth Day, Arbor Day April 21

Village officials plant a tree at the 2017 Earth Day celebration.

By Erin Davisson

It’s the time of year to think green, as the Village of Wellington hosts its annual celebration in honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day on Saturday, April 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Wellington Amphitheater.

Sponsored this year by Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the event promises to be an afternoon of activities to teach families more about our planet and how to live greener, complete with prizes, gifts and activities for kids.

“We’re excited to celebrate this event as we have in the past,” said Michelle Garvey, the coordinator for this event, who explained that there is plenty to keep every member of the family entertained at the celebration.

About 20 vendors are lined up to display their wares around the amphitheater so that visitors can browse for that certain something they didn’t know they needed. Food trucks will offer a variety of tempting treats from traditional to green inspired.

Children can color trees and flowers on posters made especially for Earth Day/Arbor Day, and they can visit with Smokey Bear, the character that teaches everyone about the dangers of wild fires and how they can be prevented. There is even a face painting area for kids to have their faces decorated.

“Except for the food trucks and vendors, basically everything is free,” said Garvey, who added that in addition to free seedlings and reusable bags to use instead of plastic ones, raffle tickets will be handed out during the event. Near the end of the event, at 7 p.m., one lucky winner will receive an indigenous tree in a 15-gallon container.

Wellington is designated as a Tree City, and to honor that tradition, the Wellington Village Council will plant a bald cypress tree during this event. A bald cypress tree is native Florida flora. “The council wouldn’t plant a tree if it wasn’t native to Florida,” Garvey said.

For the past 20 years, Wellington has carried the Tree City title by following four hallmarks of the distinction: having a tree department, a tree ordinance, a community forestry program and celebrating Arbor Day. The annual event at the Wellington Amphitheater that spreads awareness fulfills the fourth requirement.

Arbor Day has been celebrated for generations, and Earth Day began in the 1970s. Today, both are commemorated around the globe.

For more information about this event, or other upcoming Wellington events, visit www.wellingtonfl.gov/events.