This year’s Arbor Day event is on April 29 at 5:00 p.m. at Oaklands Cemetery, where we will celebrate the life of Joseph Trimble Rothrock, dubbed the “Father of Forestry” in Pennsylvania, in the 100th year since his passing.
In 1895, Rothrock was appointed the first forestry commissioner to lead the newly formed Division of Forestry in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Two of his major accomplishments as commissioner were his land acquisition program and the creation of a forest academy to train foresters for state service.
A newly designated heritage tree a short distance from his gravesite will also be recognized. For those inclined to take a slightly longer walk, you may want to visit the grave of the eminent botanist Dr. William Darlington—a distant relative of Rothrock. The event will feature speakers, music, and distribution of free reusable grocery bags and free tree seedlings for the first 25 attendees.
Directions and parking: Set your GPS for 1042 Pottstown Pike, West Chester (Google Maps link). A map of the cemetery and gravesite is available for download here. Please park along the entrance roadway and walk, following signs for Section D, Lot 92. Attendees with limited mobility may park closer to the ceremony site.