Saturday, April 8, 2000

Kent County Community Invited to Share in Arboretum's Success

Arbor Day celebration April 17 at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — How community involvement can help shape the future of the Virginia Gent Decker Aboretum at Washington College will be discussed during the College’s Arbor Day celebration, featuring Rosemary Ford, associate professor of biology and director of the arboretum, and Marnie Flook, an avid gardener and arboretum volunteer whose Chestertown garden has been featured on many garden tours. Ford and Flook will talk about the natural history of many of the species represented on the campus and conduct a virtual tour of the arboretum at 7 p.m. on Monday April 17 in the Casey Academic Forum. The public is especially welcome.
"We’ll be highlighting trees of interest on campus and talking about the campus plan for the arboretum’s future, as well as how tree lovers in Kent County can share in that future," said Ford.
Last year more than 100 students from Garnett Elementary School toured the campus arboretum, identifying trees with the help of labels affixed to the trees. Ford says that Chestertown residents of all ages walk through the campus to rest in the shade of the older trees and see how new ones are faring.
Although the arboretum is young, having been founded in 1998, it already comprises more than 100 trees. It is dedicated to Virginia Gent Decker, wife of Alonzo G. Decker, the retired chief executive office of Black & Decker corporation who co-chaired Washington College’s $43.3 million Campaign for Excellence during the 1980s. Mrs. Decker, who has an abiding interest in the environment, serves as Honorary Chair of the arboretum.
"The arboretum is growing, both in the number of trees on the campus, and in community members who are interested in assisting," said Ford. Many of those helpers belong to the Friends of the Virginia Gent Decker Arboretum, which was founded in 1999. Ford said, "The Friends will be instrumental in assuring that the arboretum provides the community with a rich asset."
For more information about this Arbor Day event or the Virginia Gent Decker Arboretum, call 410-778-7726

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