Indiana wrapped up a celebration of its 200-year history Friday with a Statehouse ceremony for the last bicentennial project.
In the past two weeks, 44 trees native to Indiana have been planted around the Statehouse, as a way to wrap up the Bicentennial celebration.
Division of Forestry director John Seifert says the celebration is important as more residents move to cities.
“The opportunity to see different species, and how they relate to the environment, what kind of wildlife gets attracted to it, the color of their flowers or blooms in the springtime – it’s just sort of an interesting side line,” Seifert says.
Ricker’s Convenience Stores owner Jay Ricker donated $25,000 to the project. More than 11,000 trees have been planted in Indiana with Ricker’s help, off-setting 67 million pounds of carbon emissions.
“We need to replenish our environment. Most of these trees have gone into a national forest down south, to make sure we leave this state better than when we came here,” Ricker says.
He says he and his wife were inspired to contribute in this unusual way to the state because of their childhoods on farms. Ricker says he grew up harvesting maple syrup from the trees on his farm.
The Statehouse lawn is now home to 21 different species of trees, including a sycamore that took a trip to the moon in 1971.