NISKAYUNA -- Niskayuna will celebrate Arbor Day with a nature party Saturday at Blatnick Park.
Tree and seed giveaways, information on tree care and a community art contest will all be part of the gathering, which will be held from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.
The Niskayuna Tree Council will sponsor the event at Blatnick, located off River Road.
Town Planner Laura Robertson said a Tupelo tree will be planted near the park's pond.
"We also have a hundred trees and shrubs to give away for people to plant in their own yards," Robertson said in an email interview. "We have a Niskayuna school art contest for people to vote on their favorite tree art.
"There will be several tree experts there to talk to people, and crafts from the Girl Scouts," Robertson added. "There will be a master gardener talking about pollinator-friendly plantings, and Niskayuna residents who worked on creating monarch butterfly habitat in Niskayuna last year with milkweed and other nectar plants in our parks."
Robertson believes planting trees in the community is an important mission.
"Trees help mitigate some of the impacts of climate change," she said. "They can keep areas cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. They add value to parks and neighborhoods, and help people heal and de-stress.
"Trees are under attack right now from invasive species like the hemlock woolly adelgid and emerald ash borer," Robertson said, "so it’s really important for everyone to learn more about them so that together we can take care of them and have a healthy urban forest for future generations."
Children will learn how to properly plant trees and participate in crafts that celebrate trees.
The event will be held rain or shine.
"It looks like it will be very cold and windy," Robertson said, "so I am advising everyone to wear their winter jackets. Also wear boots, because the grass will likely be wet."