JAN. 10, 2011 -- The Missouri Botanical Garden is celebrating the United Nations International Year of Forests in 2011 with a TREEmendous year of activities highlighting the real value of trees and the critical role they play in our lives. Experience an exhibition of non-traditional tree houses, take part in a community-wide tree hunt, celebrate National Arbor Day with a weekend tree-themed festival and more.
"During a year when the U.N. is raising awareness about the critical importance of conservation and sustainable development of forests, it is appropriate that the Missouri Botanical Garden also highlights the importance of trees and forests and the threats they face, as well as pays homage to the many wonderful trees conserved in our own backyard," said Peter Wyse Jackson, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Explore the significance of trees and their part in a healthy planet while enjoying the creativity and talent of the local community. From Saturday, Apr. 30 through Sunday, Aug. 21, the TREEmendous Extreme Tree Houses exhibition branches out from the ordinary notion of tree houses with non-traditional, ground-level structures that ponder the concepts of sustainability, exploration and play in the outdoors, reconnecting children and nature, accessibility, color, nature-inspired design, fantasy and habitats as homes. Look for each tree house displayed near or beneath the canopy of some of the Missouri Botanical Garden's significant trees, including oak, tulip, elm, sweet gum, ginkgo, sycamore, Osage orange and walnut trees. Each structure on public display is the winner of a juried design competition open to local designers, architects, schools, studios and individuals.
The Extreme Tree Houses exhibition kicks off with the TREEmendous Forest Festival, Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 pm. both days. Celebrate National Arbor Day by experiencing and learning about the Missouri Botanical Garden's historic, state champion and other significant trees. The weekend is full of expert-led tree tours, tree care demonstration clinics, hands-on workshops and other festivities.
TREEmendous Activities Beginning April 1
Three more TREEmendous activities kick off with the state of Missouri's celebration of Arbor Day on Friday, April 1. Starting at 9 a.m. while supplies last, the Kemper Center for Home Gardening will be giving away 500 free tree saplings, one per person, as part of their annual Arbor Day tree giveaway.
Opening on Friday, April 1, visit the TREEmendous Interactive Discovery Center to enjoy tree-themed, hands-on learning for all ages. Create artwork out of tree parts, share your favorite tree stories, test your tree IQ, dress up as a tree and experience what life is like in a forest canopy. Families are encouraged to drop in anytime from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Jan. 3, 2012.
Explore the terrific trees of the St. Louis community with the TREEmendous Great St. Louis Tree Hunt, Friday, April 1 through Friday, Sept. 30. Search the great outdoors for 20 marked TREEmendous Trees throughout the Missouri and Illinois metro St. Louis region. Download an area guide, clue map and photo journal. Explore the region with family and friends in search of each tree, document your findings and bring the completed guide to the Missouri Botanical Garden's TREEmendous Interactive Discovery Center to receive a special tree-themed reward.
All TREEmendous activities are included with Missouri Botanical Garden admission of $8 for adults and are free for children ages 12 and under. St. Louis City and County residents enjoy discounted admission of $4 and free general admission on most Wednesday and Saturday mornings until noon.
The Missouri Botanical Garden at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis.
Images courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden.