The City of Conway will host its 2012 Arbor Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in Laurel Park on Prince Street (across from Conway High School).

Sponsored by the Conway Tree Board, the event is being underwritten by Conway Corp.

More than 500 attended last year’s event, and several hundred trees were adopted.

Conway Tree Board chair and Conway High School agriculture teacher Randy Romeo said his students are currently working to inventory the trees that will be available for adoption to participants the day of the celebration. Among the available mix are oaks, ash, cypress and others.

"As always, there will be lots of free family-friendly fun," said Conway Tree Board member Ouida Wright. "We’ll have the perennial favorites: bounce houses, free hotdogs, art display, face-painting, crafts and prizes and some added treats this year."

Wright said the Arkansas Forestry Commission will also be on-hand to provide tree-related information. Smokey Bear, who had to miss last year to fight fires, plans to come and be available for photos. The Plant Outlet will donate, and demonstrate planting, a large tree in the park.

The Ida Burns Elementary Scat Cats, directed by Bart Dooley, will sing. Conway Mayor Tab Townsell will recognize winners among the local public school students participating in the Arbor Day Young Artists Award contest, and the students’ winning artwork will be on display at the park gazebo.

Following the event, the artwork will be exhibited in City Hall during the holiday season and will be posted on the Tree Board’s website at www.conwaytrees.org.

Wright said the Conway Tree Board is especially grateful to Conway Corp. "Its loyal financial support has made the Arbor Day Celebration possible for the past three years. Its efforts helped to establish Conway as a Tree City USA and it has demonstrated a continuing interest in promoting thoughtful management of the city’s urban forestry resources."

Conway Tree Board member Kami Marsh also noted that Conway Corp., working on the design with the Conway Tree Board, has planted nearly 35 large trees over the past year to replace some of those which had to be removed to upgrade the city’s sewer services in western Conway.

Other event sponsors include the Faulkner County Master Gardeners, Central Events, Inc., Farm Credit Services of Western Arkansas The Plant Outlet, Custom Landscape & Nursery, City of Conway Parks and Recreation, Planning & Development and Sanitation Departments, Faulkner County Farm Bureau, Conway FFA, Conway Public Schools, Arkansas Forestry Commission, Conway Downtown Partnership, Occasions, Faulkner County Extension Office, Conway Copies and Crain Automotive Team.

For more information on the Arbor Day celebration or the Conway Tree Board, visit www.conwaytrees.org

(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at becky.harris@thecabin.net and 505-1234.)