Dignitaries to attend Red Rock Arbor Day

       The City of Colorado Springs will celebrate Arbor Day at Red Rock Canyon Open Space Thursday, April 26. A short Arbor Day ceremony at the main parking lot (off Highway 24 and Ridge Road) will begin at 10:30 a.m. to honor the City of Colorado Springs for being recognized as a Tree City USA for the past 30 years, according to a city press release.
       Special guest speakers include Mayor Lionel Rivera; Jim McGannon, City Forester; Ralph Campbell, Colorado State Forest Service; and Bill Koerner, member of the Trails, Open Space & Parks Committee.
       The program will additionally recognize four schools for fifth grade Arbor Day posters, including the Westside's Whittier and Howbert elementaries.
       From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 250 volunteers from the Air Academy High School senior class will plant up to 500 trees to landscape the parking lot (which was built last year), as well as to provide a buffer between the lot and the highway, according to Dennis Will of City Forestry. The trees will mostly be seedlings, plus about 20 trees as tall as 6 to 10 feet.
       “We're glad to have the help,” he said. “And, psychologically, it will help the students have ownership of the park.”

Westside Pioneer/press release