Padua Center’s Ujima Garden Celebrates Earth Day

hands planting tree

Padua Center’s Ujima Garden will celebrate Earth Day Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 PM with the planting of the first two seedlings as Tree Toledo kicks off its five-year plan to plant a tree for every Toledo resident in the effort to mitigate climate change.

Tree Toledo encourages every Toledoan to plant a tree or two now, noting that 20 years from now the mature tree will breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out enough oxygen to keep two people alive.

Tree Toledo was formed last fall after hearing local environmentalists Melissa Greene, Chair of the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission; and Jim Witter, Program Coordinator with the Wood County Park District, say that “If you can do only one thing for the environment, plant a tree.”

“Eighty percent of the urban forest is in backyards,” according to Tom McDonald of Tree Toledo. “Planting a tree is one thing that ordinary people can do to turn back climate change.” The group will be distributing a limited number of free seedlings at various locations in the coming weeks and urges residents to consider planting at least one tree in their yard.

McDonald pointed out that the urban poor are the first to be impacted by the disasters brought on by climate change and that people of all faiths must gather to work on the problem. “We created this problem,” he said, “and we must act to solve it. Governments and corporations have a lot to do, but ordinary citizens are called to do their part, and we can each do something. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step—and the way to save our planet begins with planting one tree, or establishing one rain garden, or turning one square yard of lawn into edible landscaping.”

Padua Center located at 1416 Nebraska Avenue is a Christian community-based presence empowering people at all stages of life to achieve their maximum potential through education, counseling, support, and community involvement. Its Ujima Garden is named for the Kwanzaa principle ujima, a Swahili word that means “achieved with the help of others.” Sister Virginia Welsh, OSF, serves as Director of Padua Center.


Contact: Tom McDonald (419) 474-8801 or
Planting tree image courtesy of Blog