LIHUE — The Kauai Landscape Industry Council will continue its streak of spreading the wealth this Arbor Day with its 8th annual tree giveaway today.
“(Participants) can get free plants and learn more about conservation being done by groups around the island,” said organizer Amanda Skelton.
Since 2006, KLIC, a project of the Garden Island Resource, Conservation and Development, has offered free plants and educational opportunities to attendees.
This year’s Arbor Day celebration kicks off at 9 a.m. today in the parking lot behind Kmart at Kukui Grove Center, .
Skelton said there will be about 1,200 plants, featuring common natives. Additionally, KLIC will offer non-invasive, non-native plants along with free compost.
“We’re different than the (Division of Forestry and Wildlife) Arbor Day (event), mostly because we don’t sell plants,” Skelton said. “We give them away!”
About 800 people attended last year’s event, with some 1,800 plants being divvied out. Participants receive one tree or plant just for showing up, and it’s possible to leave with up to three.
The event features educational booths sponsored by many of the island’s local conservation groups. By “talking story” with these educators, attendees can earn stamps for additional free trees, according to a release.
Skelton said the event works well. People walk away with free plants and knowledge, while conservation groups leave with exposure.
“If they’re willing to learn, we reward them,” Skelton said.
Educational participants at the event will include Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery, RC&D Forestry Committee, Kokee Resource Conservation Program, National Tropical Botanical Garden, DOFAW —Natural Area Reserve System, Kauai Invasive Species Committee, Plant Pono, Kauai Native Plant Society, CTAHR Master Gardeners, Kauai Outdoor Circle and others.