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Looking for ways to spend time outdoors while contributing to the environment? Join 2023 Great Teacher Dr. Kenton Sena for one of following tree-planting opportunities in Lexington: 

  • Saturday, Apr 13: Reforest the Bluegrass, at Coldstream Park, 9:00 - 1:00 PM. For more information, click here.
  • Tuesday, Apr 16: Campus tree-planting event in the traffic island of Alumni Drive, funded by a Plant for the Planet grant and matching funds from the Student Sustainability Council, 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM.
  • Thursday, Apr 18: Planting at Wellington Park, 3:30 - 5:00 PM. RSVP required.

Kenton shared the benefits of tree-planting in urban areas such as “capturing air pollution, processing stormwater runoff, providing wildlife habitat, creating shade, and beautifying and enriching our lived spaces.” Each of the three events serve different purposes.

According to Kenton the April 13 Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s Reforest the Bluegrass at Coldstream Park efforts “will grow into a forest that will help protect the nearby stream from erosion and contaminants, and provide wildlife with critical habitat, all while storing carbon and capturing air pollution.”

In contrast, the larger trees to be planted along Alumni Drive on campus on April 16 “will beautify the commute for many members of our community,” Kenton said.

The last tree-planting event on April 18 will take place at Wellington Park, a previously planted Reforest the Bluegrass site in the early 2000s. “We will be planting some native trees that will thrive in the understory and enrich diversity in the forest,” Kenton said.

Students of Kenton’s Ecology of Middle-earth (HON 301) class and Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENS 202) class who will be out there as part of a service-learning project. But Kenton encourages everyone to participate regardless of previous tree-planting experience. He said, “Planting trees is easy and rewarding! Anyone can do it. If you've never planted a tree before, this is the event for you—we'll show you how to do it and help you along the way. If you've been planting trees since you were old enough to hold the shovel, this is the event for you, too!”

In March, Kenton partnered with Green Forests Work to plant trees on a former coal mine site near Hazard, Kentucky.