The City of Aiken Arboretum Trail along Colleton Avenue has undergone a transformation, and anyone interested in seeing what's new can attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The event will be held at the trailhead on the corner of Chesterfield Street and Colleton Avenue. Following the cutting of the ribbon and brief remarks, there will be a guided tour of the Arboretum Trail.
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism will host the ceremony and is billing it as the “grand reopening” of the Trail. Parking will be available in the rear parking lot of the Aiken County Public Library.
“The updated City of Aiken Arboretum Trail will provide guests and residents alike a great opportunity to learn about the many species of trees along Colleton Avenue,” said Glenn Parker, director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
New interpretive plaques with uniform placement have been installed along the Arboretum Trail. There is also a brochure box with cards containing general information about the Trail. In addition, the Trail will offer a new interactive tour that allows people to use their mobile devices to learn more about what they are seeing. They also will be able to use their mobile devices to leave feedback for the developers of the Trail.
According to Parker, volunteers played an important role in improving the Arboretum Trail.
“The City of Aiken is fortunate to have very gifted volunteers willing to give their time and expertise to make this new update to the Arboretum Trail possible,” he said. “Specifically, Mr. Bob McCartney of Woodlanders Inc. assisted in the redevelopment of the Trail.”
There are more than 100 distinct trees along the Trail.
According to the City of Aiken's website (www.cityofaiken.gov), Aiken has one of the most diverse collection of trees found in any municipal landscape. According to the website, the oak species and hybrids in Aiken may be the best collection of such trees in this country.
Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since January 2013. A native of Concord, N.C., she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.