Friday, April 30, 1999

Trees are the stars of new park

Boone Co. opens arboretum Sunday

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — It's a place where visitors can see virtually any kind of tree they can think of that grows in the area — and plenty of others they've probably never heard of.

        The Boone County Arboretum, located in Central Park, is the first of its kind in Northern Kentucky, with 700 trees along walking and biking trails over the park's 121 acres.

        A dedication ceremony for the arboretum will be at 2 p.m. Sunday. The park is on Camp Ernst Road.

        “What makes this park so unique is that the trails are already there and paved and the trees are along the trails,” said Lynn Sutter of the Boone County arboretum committee. “You can go up to a tree that looks interesting and find out all about it by the label that's on it.”

        The project, estimated to cost $200,000, was a result of efforts by the Boone County Cooperative Extension District Board and Council, the Boone County Parks Department and Boone Fiscal Court. It was paid for with taxes that go to the Boone County Cooperative Extension Service.

        Mike Klahr, a horticulture agent at the county coopera tive extension service, said visitors will probably recognize trees such as redbuds, dogwoods, magnolias, evergreens and crabapples.

        “We have a good sampling that includes all the most common trees and quite a few others which have outstanding ornamental features that people might not have heard of,” he said.

        One of those is the American smoke tree.

        “It has flowers throughout the summer that look like a cloud of smoke coming off the plant,” he said.

        Another that is not widely known is the yellowhorn tree. It grows to only about 20 feet but has white, fragrant flowers that bloom in May.

        Each tree has a label that gives five facts about it.

        “The kind of information included will be fall color or showy flowers, whether songbirds enjoy making nests in it and how tall it will grow,” Ms. Sutter said.

        Visitors on Sunday will be provided a map of every labeled tree and a poster.

        Festivities begin at 2 p.m. with a performance by the Florence community band. Members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the area 4-H teen council will paint faces and provide crafts for children. The Boone County executive clowns will also entertain guests.

        The official dedication ceremony begins at 3 p.m., and more entertainment and activities will follow. Free refreshments will be provided.

        “I think people will enjoy coming out,” Mr. Klahr said. “I've already been there when people come up to a tree and say, "Oh, that's what I have at my house. Now I know the name of it.'”


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- Trees are the stars of new park