I hope you attended and enjoyed Plant Discovery Day and the spring plant sale. If so, did you notice our new Secrest Select banner and plant labels? As a reminder, the Secrest Select program is designed to help educate homeowners, industry professionals, and students about trees, shrubs, and other horticulturally relevant plants proven to thrive in northeast Ohio. Please consider nominating your favorites for Secrest Select designation. Details at https://secrestselect.com/.

Speaking of events, the first annual Ohio Landscape Plant Symposium was a sold-out success with five great speakers. FSA is proud to have been a lead sponsor. If you missed the first Music at the Arboretum concert: Alla Boara: Italian Folk Songs on Friday, May 31st, there are three other great concerts to come. Our third Annual Secrest Garden Fair will be Saturday, June 8th. Details for both are elsewhere in this newsletter.

Depending on recent weather, renovations are probably already visible at the John Streeter Garden Amphitheater. FSA coordinated multiple generous donations as well as receiving a grant from the Wayne County Community Foundation to fund the improvements. We are also working on new directional signage in the main display garden areas at Secrest. These permanent markers, along with map references, will eliminate the need for placing the temporary “yard signs” before an amphitheater event.

Last year the FSA Board voted to add additional levels of Friends membership as a way of increasing the funds we have available to support Secrest. In the nine months since we started, we have had ten Magnolia memberships and two Maple memberships. Special thanks to these new members for their support.

FSA recently completed a “behind the scenes” project at the Secrest Welcome and Education Center. There is a closet that is used for storing material for Friends and Master Gardener events, including tents, tarps, ropes, signage, etc. Simply put – the room was a disaster. The installation of four shelving units, clear storage boxes, rolling containers to store plant signage, and slatwall with hooks has transformed the space. Both volunteers and staff appreciate the improvements.

The FSA Board hopes that you can come to our many events and enjoy the beauty of Secrest Arboretum at different times of the year. You can keep track of coming events through our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Friends.of.Secrest, our website https://www.friendsofsecrest.com/ or Secrest’s website https://secrest.osu.edu/.

As always, please reach out to me at friendsofsecrest@gmail.com should you have questions about FSA or if you are interested in volunteering – whether as a board member or in a different capacity.

--Bob Everett, President, Friends of Secrest Arboretum