Parkland Garden Club celebrates Arbor Day
Members of Parkland Garden Club continued their annual plantings of trees in memory of or in honor of loved ones Arbor Day at the Lehigh Valley Zoo, Schnecksville.
Since 1980, the club has made 327 plantings around the local area.
This year, the 13 plantings made at the zoo were all made in memory of a loved one.
Scott Fenstermaker, groundskeeper for the zoo, planted this year’s trees and has provided 35 years of help to the club.
“We work in tandem with the zoo for this Arbor Day activity and together we reserve this day every year for the plantings,” Debra Barhight, conservation chairman, said. “Our members purchase the plants and then the groundskeeper will plant them for us and we come together to celebrate the memories of [the] people we love.
“[This year] the Parkland Garden Club concentrated on providing a lot of different grasses that will grow at different heights to enhance the new giraffe area.”
This tree planting ceremony included various kinds of trees.
Some included white dogwood’s, light purple small leaf rhododendron, Andromeda’s, maiden grass, porcupine grass and more.
Along with the plantings the club does at the zoo, members take part in activities in celebration of Arbor Day, too.
“Around Arbor Day, we try to go to the elementary schools in the Parkland School District and give an evergreen seedling to every first grader,” Barhight said. “And, we’ve been doing that for 55 years.”
According to Barhight, this year the club obtained the seedlings from the Pennsylvania State Nursery in Howard, Centre County.
The club distributed 680 seedlings to students and their teachers in Parkland elementary schools.
Barhight also noted the nursery recommended they plant white spruce trees because these trees are good for providing shelter for small animals and birds.
The garden club has a specific reason why they keep their yearly tradition of planting trees at the zoo.
“These are 327 plantings we’ve put in the zoo since 1980, and we really want to enhance and beautify the zoo,” Barhight said.
She also noted club members really like to share this day with other visitors at the zoo.
If someone sees the label of a plant the club contributed, the visitor can plant the same type at their own home.
The garden club also works on other projects to enhance nature in the Parkland area.
Barhight said the club maintains a butterfly garden near Wehr’s Dam, Orefield, which members have been working on for some 20 years.
Also, the club maintains a small garden in front of the administration building at Lehigh Carbon Community College, Schnecksville.
In addition, the Parkland Garden Club is sponsoring a garden tour of homes around the Lehigh Valley on June 30. The tour will take place rain or shine.
This will be the 20th anniversary tour for the club.