WASHINGTON, D.C. – On April 27, the Washington D.C. Department of Transportation hosted their first Arbor Day Festival at Oxon Run Park. The theme for the inaugural event was “A Celebration of Trees and People.” Many partners worked together to make the event successful including the District Department of Transportation, Capital Bikeshare, the District Department of Parks and Recreation, the District Department of Energy & Environment, Friends of Oxon Run Park and the USDA Forest Service.
“We are committed to planting new trees in all eight wards, ensuring that everyone has equal access to all the benefits that trees provide, such as clean air and cooler summer temperatures,” said DDOT Director Jeff Marootian. “Our priority is to continue being a national leader in urban forestry while advancing Mayor Bowser’s sustainability goals.”
Arbor Day is a celebration of DDOT’s continued commitment to expanding the District’s tree canopy in all eight wards. Since October 1, 2018, DDOT has planted nearly 7,500 trees in the District, moving the District closer to Mayor Bowser’s Sustainable DC goal of a 40% urban tree canopy by 2032.
The event focused on engaging the public in activities that promote appreciation and utilization of urban forests. Activities included tree planting, nature walks, tree climbing, live music and a visit from Woodsy the Owl. Several hundred people attended the event, located at the largest municipal park in the District.
The Eastern Region of the Forest Service, State and Private Forestry and the Monongahela National Forest provided funding for the event through a Forest Service Youth Engagement grant. Youth Engagement Funds are designed to get people outside through existing programs or developing new programs with partners.