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Sure, be a ‘tree hugger,’ embrace Arbor Day activities all year long

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A red buckeye in bloom at the Shaw Nature Reserve.

Arbor Day is recognized this month, but you can enjoy and learn about Missouri’s native trees all year long.

Not only do native trees trap and filter rainwater, stabilize soil, and provide beauty and timber, they also provide vital habitat for beneficial wildlife. For example, native oaks provide food for more than 500 different butterfly and moth caterpillars, which are critical food for songbirds. MPF’s Grow Native! program has organized several free Native Tree Walks in 2017 to help citizens learn more about native tree diversity. Read more details and RSVP.

Sunday, April 23, 2017: Native Trees of the MU Campus and Mizzou Botanic Garden with Dr. Chris Starbuck, Associate Professor Emeritus with MU’s Division of Plant Sciences. Dr. Starbuck will be the guide to native trees and shrubs on the MU campus, which is also a nationally recognized botanical garden. Coincides with the Columbia Earth Day Event. 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, May 18, 2017: Native Trees of the MU Campus and Mizzou Botanic Garden with guide Bo Young, who is a student in the MU Center for Agroforestry and a member of the Forrest Keeling Nursery family. Young will lead a tour of native trees on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus, which is also also a nationally recognized botanical garden. 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 17, 2017: Native Tree and Glade Hike at Clifty Creek Natural Area-celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Missouri Natural Areas System at the same time! Clifty Creek Natural Area is in Maries County, near Dixon, MO. Hike will be led by Missouri Department of Conservation Natural Areas Coordinator Mike Leahy. 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, June 24, 2017: Native Trees of Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, with Bellefontaine Cemetery Horticulture Supervisor Kyle Cheesborough. Learn about the beautiful trees in this haven for nature that is also a significant St. Louis historical landmark. 10 a.m.

Tuesday, May 9 is Give Ozarks and Thursday, May 11 is Give St. Louis!
Save these dates for two opportunities of on-line giving to support MPF. Note that for the Give St. Louis event, an MPF supporter who wishes to remain anonymous has committed to matching MPF donations during the Give St. Louis event up to $5,000!

Please watch for more information in future issues of e-news and share it with others–these on-line events are easy ways for new MPF supporters to help us conserve prairie.

Upcoming Events from MPF and its Grow Native! Program:

Saturdays, April 22 and April 29: MPF at St. Louis Earth Day and Chesterfield Earth Day. MPF will have a booth at both of these events. If you can volunteer an hour or more, please let Amy Humphrey Hayes now, at or 888-843-6739.

Saturday, April 22, 2017: Missouri Prairie Foundation Native Plant Sale, State Fairgrounds, Sedalia
Shop for native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees from four vendors: Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, Gaylena’s Garden, CHS Bloomin’ Gardens, and Claire’s Garden. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the State Fairgrounds near the intersection of Hwy. 65 and 16th Street, in the Fairgrounds parking lot behind the Trails West train and cattle drive exhibit on the corner. Vendors donate a percentage of their proceeds to support MPF’s prairie conservation work.

If you wish to pre-order plants and have your order ready for pick up at the event, you can pre-order from the following vendors:

Gaylena’s Garden: 573-694-3228
Missouri Wildflowers Nursery: 573-496-3492
CHS Bloomin’ Gardens: 660-826-4401 ext. 552

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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