Tree City Celebration offers family fun

The Portsmouth Tree City Celebration features fun activities for the entire family including children as part of the Arbor Day festivities. This cuddly guy greated children during last year’s events.

Each year’s event includes tree planting sponsored by SOMC.

Spring is in full swing, and the City of Portsmouth would like to invite the community to come outside and enjoy the nice weather and beautiful city trees and flowers for the Tree City Celebration at Tracy Park on Arbor Day Saturday, April 29.

The event is hosted by the Portsmouth Shade Tree Commission and Scioto Soil & Water Conservation District, Conservation Education Coordinator Kate Sowards explained.

“Our goal with this event is to offer a family friendly afternoon for our local community that will provide information, educational experiences, and highlight some of the amazing organizations making a difference in our area,” Sowards stated.

Live entertainment will begin at noon with the Event Welcome followed by the Tree City Proclamation with performances from Portsmouth Elementary. Portsmouth Community Drum Circle will then join the festivities, playing at 12:30 p.m. Cirque de Art will then take the stage at 1:30, and Steve Free will conclude at 2 p.m.

“The Tree City Celebration is, at the heart of the event, a celebration of Portsmouth being honored as a Tree City in the Arbor Day’s Tree City USA program,” Sowards stated.

Portsmouth has taken pride in its city trees and been a part of the Tree City USA program for 28 years.

The Tree City USA program started in 1976 and has been helping communities manage and expand their public trees in the decades since.

More than 3,400 communities across the nation are designated as Tree Cities and have take the commitment to meeting the standards of the program, which include maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

The National Arbor Day Foundation explains that the benefits of having trees in urban populations is enormous. Trees help reduce costs for energy, storm-water management, and erosion control; cut energy consumption by 25 percent, boost property values and create green spaces that unite community members. The Tree City USA program works to honor cities that recognize those benefits and care for their city trees. The program also offers education, a framework and awards. Portsmouth is among 241 Tree Cities across Ohio.

The Portsmouth Tree City Celebration will include displays and booths from more than 30 different vendors and organizations.

“I continually tell people that one of the things we wanted was for this event to be a platform for local non-profits to fundraiser and to share information with the public,” Sowards added. “I am possibly most excited by the Main Street Farmer’s Market preview at the Tree City Celebration. Many of the regular vendors will be showcasing their spring offerings including flowers and plants.”

The day in the park will also include tree planting sponsored by SOMC, free tree seedlings donated by American Savings Bank, activities for children and ATV Safety Challenge “Touch a Truck” with City Vehicles

There is still space available for additional vendors. If interested or for more information regarding the Tree City Celebration, call Portsmouth City Clerk Diana Ratliff at (740) 354-4706, email, or search for the Portsmouth Tree City Celebration event page on Facebook.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1930.