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Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

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1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

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Celebrate Arbor Day with Portland Parks & Recreation!

Free, nature-based family fun on Saturday, April 30

POSTED 4/27/16

(Portland, OR) –

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s Urban Forestry division is proud to present the annual Arbor Day celebration on Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 8:30am-2pm at the Portland Farmers Market.  Enjoy music, storytelling, historic heritage tree tours, and fun, hands-on activities for all ages.  For the 39th consecutive year, the Arbor Day Foundation will recognize the City of Portland as a Tree City USA.  The Foundation will also declare Portland State University a Tree Campus USA.

What: Arbor Day 2016 with Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry

When: Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 8:30am-2:00pm

Portland recognized as a Tree City USA for the 39th straight year, 11am

Where: Portland Farmers Market at the PSU South Park Blocks (near SW Park Ave. and Montgomery St.) 

Arbor Day 2016 means live music, storytelling, and educational family fun!

“Arbor Day is a wonderful chance for people to celebrate the urban forest that makes Portland so special, and to enjoy a wide variety of fun and educational activities to learn about our City’s trees,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

Arbor Day activities include:

  • Live music and storytelling beginning at 10:30am
  • All-day nature-based arts and crafts including basket-making, jewelry, wood carving and fire-making skills!
  • PP&R Environmental Education hands-on activities to learn about trees, cones, and urban wildlife habitats.
  • Award ceremonies begin at 11am.  
  • 9am, 10am, and 1pm: Historic Tree Tours- learn about the history of Portland’s Urban Forest and our Heritage Tree Program.  Portland’s 300+ Heritage Trees are trees that have been formally recognized by City Council for their unique size, age, historical or horticultural significance. These receive the highest protection in the city that a tree can have. Dave Hedberg, Urban Forestry environmental historian will lead 45 minute tours from the main Urban Forestry Tent.
  • Art project:  “plant” your tree stories in our “seed bed” art project. These stories will “grow” over the course of the next year!
  • Free tree seedlings (while supplies last) of Oregon White Oak, Chinese Pistache and Cascara, along with planting and care information cards.
  • 11am: The Bill Naito Community Tree Awards, the Maynard Drawson Award, Arbor Day Foundation Awards and the Mayoral Proclamation. 

“Our dedicated Urban Forestry staff have worked hard – as they do all year long – to bring you a spectacular Arbor Day,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. “Trees are such a part of our city.  Just looking out the window as you fly into town, one is struck by the gorgeous, green canopy of the city.  Arbor Day is a chance to connect with the trees that make up so much of our quality of life, and of the very fabric of where we live.  My thanks to the Urban Forestry Commission, Education and Outreach Committee and to all our partners.”

The theme for this year's Arbor Day is Share Your Tree Story!

“Wood you” tell us a tree tale? Urban Forestry wants to hear from you about your connections with trees, and how they influence your life.  Please send your tree story (500 words or less, and photos are welcome!) to  You could describe a tree that has been significant to you, and why; or any other tree story you have. We welcome info on the specific species of tree in your tale, and its location.

Your story may be shared on our Urban Forestry website and as part of our greater art project, The Year in Tree Stories. By submitting your stories and/or photos, you consent to use of these by the City of Portland for any lawful purpose, including, for example, promotion of Urban Forestry programs, publicity, illustration, advertising and web content. 

Thanks to our valued community partners:

Friends of Trees

World Forest Institute (with international guests)

Urban Forestry programs- Neighborhood Tree Stewards, Learning Landscapes

Friends of Hoyt Arboretum


Friends of Outdoor School

Urban Wildlife Habitat

PP&R Environmental Education team

Bureau of Environmental Services

ReWild Portland

To learn more about Arbor Day, please visit the event website!