Palm Coast - Palm Coast's love of trees and commitment to environmental sustainability will be celebrated at Arbor Day 2017 on Saturday, May 6 - a day-long event featuring a tree give-away, butterfly release and tent, food/pet food drive, 5K run/walk, exhibits and fun activities for all ages.

The Arbor Day Celebration will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Park in Town Center, 975 Central Ave., Palm Coast. Admission and parking are free.

Just before the celebration will be the Arbor Day 5K Root Run/Walk, beginning at 8 a.m. Register for the race at: www.palmcoastgov.com/ArborDay.

Arbor Day Celebration details, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The theme is "Feed a Mouth, Get a Tree, Grow a Community!" Attendees can exchange canned food or pet food items for a free three-gallon native hardwood tree. Come early for the tree - one tree per household, while quantities last. Arbor Day is a nationally celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and tree care.

The Native Butterfly Release will be at 11 a.m. at center stage, following the 10 a.m. kickoff of Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland's "Mayor's Healthy Community Challenge." There will be green vendors, refreshments for sale, and an amazing kite display flying above Central Park.

This year's special entertainment is musician Patty Shukla, who will perform her educational action songs for children at 11:30 a.m. Sheldon, the Daytona Tortugas' minor league baseball team mascot, will visit with the kids at 10:30 a.m.

DJ Vern of Pyramid Disc Jockeys and Surf 97.3 FM will provide the DJ entertainment for children's games, dancing, line dances, limbo and hula hoop contests.

A huge family activity area will include the butterfly tent, paint a birdhouse, create pine cone bird feeders, balloon art,  long-leaf pine and hay bale mazes, painting wooden snakes, a life-size Eagle's nest, Game Time Game truck, train rides, face-painting and more. The Critter Caravan petting zoo will be there from 9 a.m. to noon. All activities except for refreshments and items sold by vendors are free.

Also new this year: Master Certified Arborists Chuck and Danny Lippi of Advanced Tree Care in St. Augustine will be in the Tree Tent offering free guidance on proper pruning, placement, planting and root shaving techniques. This year's varieties include red buds, tensaw holleys, chicasaw plum, fringe tree, river birch and bald cypress.

Back by popular demand is the free paper-shredding service, so bring your old documents for professional shredding! Plan to take advantage of this hands-free, uncomplicated process as totes will be wheeled to your car to help unload your paper and bring it to a chute that dumps all of it into a shredder.

For the free shredding service, acceptable items include: staples, paper clips, spirals, notebooks, expired credit cards, check books, folders with small prongs with small amounts of metal/plastic. Unacceptable items include: batteries, three-ring binders, binder clips, hard drives, X-rays and large amounts of metal/plastic. Shredded materials will be recycled, with the ink and color removed to produce new paper towels, tissues, etc.

Arbor Day 5K Root Run/Walk details, starts at 8 a.m.

Start the morning off by taking a walk or run while enjoying the great outdoors at the City of Palm Coast's Arbor Day 5K Root Run/Walk. The run/walk will begin at 8 a.m. The run/walk will start and finish on Lake Avenue in Central Park at Town Center, 975 Central Ave., Palm Coast. Awards will be given out at Central Park Main Stage after the race.

Register for the 5K Root Run/Walk at www.palmcoastgov.com/ArborDay. Participants of the 5K Root Run/Walk are guaranteed a race T-shirt if they register by April 21. Entry fees and registration deadlines are as follows:

  • $25 Online registration closes at 5 p.m. May 4 at www.palmcoastgov.com/ArborDay.
  • $25 Mail-in registration closes April 28 (see details below).
  • $30 Race day entry fee - cash or checks only - inside the Community Wing at City Hall, 160 Lake Ave. (adjacent to Central Park)

Mail-in registration is available through April 28. Mail registration form available online with check or money order (made out to City of Palm Coast) to: City of Palm Coast, c/o Arbor Day Race Pre-registration, Attn: Carol Mini, 160 Lake Ave., Palm Coast, FL 32164. Or the form can be dropped off at Palm Coast City Hall, 160 Lake Ave.

Packet Pick Up will be held at Palm Coast City Hall, 160 Lake Ave. from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 5, or at 7 a.m. on race day in the Community Wing of City Hall (on Lake Avenue at the north end of Central Park).

Prizes will be awarded to the overall male and female runners, as well as the top three men and women in 15 age groups. The race will be chip-timed.

Palm Coast's Arbor Day 2017 is sponsored by the Palm Coast Observer and BrightView landscaping.

For more information, visit www.palmcoastgov.com/ArborDay or contact Palm Coast Urban Forester Carol Mini at 386-986-3722 or cjmini@palmcoastgov.com.