This year's Arbor Day event is more than just handing out trees. It's about honoring the very man who started the event 37 years ago.
Longtime Oakdale resident Pete Graske, who was passionate about planting and maintaining trees in Oakdale, died in September. To honor his years of service, the city will dedicate "Pete's Grove" in the Oakdale Nature Preserve on Saturday, April 27.
As part of the dedication, three of Graske's favorite trees will be planted in "Pete's Grove," just east of the historic schoolhouse.
The Pete Graske Arbor Day Tree Giveaway has usually been held at Richard Walton Park.
The giveaway will include 200 large bare root and container trees to celebrate Arbor Day. The trees will be given out on a first come first serve basis. Only Oakdale residents can claim a tree and they must present an ID. Only one tree is given per household.
Numbered tickets will be handed out at 9 a.m. followed by the dedication ceremony. Trees will be given away starting at 10 a.m.
Master gardeners will also be on hand to answer any planting questions.
Graske was traditionally presented with the first number given out; ticket number one will be retired as part of the dedication ceremony.