sexta-feira, 19 de março de 2010
Arizona tree climbing championship at BTA in Superior
Kim Stone/Boyce Thompson Arboretum, An arborist tackles a 50-foot eucalyptus tree at last year’s competition.
Published: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 11:30 PM MST
SUPERIOR — Imagine climbing more than 50 feet of tree in less than a half-minute — then scrambling out on a limb to ring a cowbell. That’s what Arizona’s best tree climbers face Saturday when they scale the towering eucalyptus trees in the Australian forest at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
Saturday’s state competition will send Arizona’s champion to the Western States Regional. Events are promoted each year by the Arizona Community Tree Council — a nonprofit volunteer community organization that promotes the planting of and caring for trees and the essential role our biggest and shadiest plants play in beautifying Arizona communities.
ACTC is composed of representatives from Arizona’s counties, tribal communities, government agencies, professional organizations and private companies who share a statewide interest in the mission. Read more at www.aztrees.org.
Preview highlights from last year’s event at http://aztrees.org/climbingchamp.html. For more information call 602-354-3023.
“Tree climbing competitions simulate the kind of real-time working conditions that arborists experience every day in their challenging line of work,” said ACTC’s Conni Ingallina.
“Utilizing the highest level of professional skills and safety, these events give working arborists the opportunity to use their skills in a competitive environment. Each event is designed to test the competitors’ ability to quickly, professionally and safely climb through a tree as they perform the tasks required by each event. For the first time, aerial rescue competition will be included as part of the day’s activities.”
Spectators are welcome, but non-competitors will not be allowed to climb trees at the arboretum.
Ingallina says family elements include the Kids’ Zone with coloring, clowns and crafts. An “old-timer climbing event” will provide entertainment during lunch — and the arboretum will sell grilled bratwursts from The Pork Shop in Queen Creek as a lunchtime fundraiser.
Visitors can also learn more about trees when horticulture expert Terry Mikel guides a walk-a-bout through the arboretum.
Daily admission is $7.50 for adults, $3 for ages 5-12. Leashed and well-behaved pets are welcome at the arboretum, and there’s a picnic area with tables and charcoal grills that visitors can use. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is located on U.S. 60 at milepost 223 near the scenic copper-mining town of Superior, a half-hour’s drive from Florence.
Read more at ag.arizona.edu/bta or join the online community of members, volunteers and staff at facebook.com/boycethompsonarboretum.