Somerset County''s annual Arbor Day celebration and Native Tree Give-Away will take place on Friday, April 28 from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. at two locations, with a diverse selection of native trees available including 14 different species native to the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

All trees are free while supplies last.

The event will occur at two separate Somerset County Park locations: The Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge, located at 190 Lord Stirling Road, and the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden in Colonial Park in Somerset (Franklin Township), Parking Lot A at 156 Mettlers Road.

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Horticultural advice and guided Arboretum tours will also be offered at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden at Colonial Park Gardens. The Arboretum is a veritable living tree museum containing labeled specimens of flowering trees, evergreen shade trees, dwarf conifers and flowering shrubs. 

At the EEC, staff will lead a walking tour of the experimental American Chestnut Grove at 2 p.m.  The EEC has partnered with The American Chestnut Foundation to plant the first Restoration 1.0 hybrid blight resistant chestnut trees in New Jersey.

Arbor Day activities at both locations will also include day-long planting demonstrations, advice on selection of the best trees for specific planting sites, and instruction on appropriate cultural care. One tree per person or two trees per family will be given away.

This event is sponsored by the Somerset County Park Foundation and Go-Green Committee of the Somerset County Park Commission.  The Park Foundation is a non-profit 501c(3) created to preserve, support, and promote Somerset County Park Commission programs, facilities, and open space through advocacy and fundraising.   

For more information, please contact Jane Parks, EEC at 908 766-2489 ext. 336 and Surina Rashid, Colonial Park Gardens at 732 873-2459 ext. 21 or visit www.somersetcountyparks.org.