Public is Invited to a Free April 22 Earth Day Lecture at Riderwood by Karen Petroff, an Official with University of Maryland Arboretum

SILVER SPRING, MD (March 27, 2012) - The public is invited to attend a Riderwood retirement community Earth Day lecture by Karen Petroff, Assistant Director of the University of Maryland Arboretum and Horticultural Services, who will speak about efforts to maintain the campus' arboretum. Her free lecture will be held Sunday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m., in Encore Theater at Riderwood, 3140 Gracefield Road, Silver Spring. Seating is limited. RSVP: Mel.Tansill@Erickson.com It is fitting that Petroff's lecture will be held on this day at the 120-acre Riderwood campus, which is a certified Wildlife Habitat and a kindred, mission-driven partner to the University of Maryland's work to conserve and protect the environment.  The State of Maryland chartered the Maryland Agricultural College in 1856 to offer a practical and scientific education to the sons of farmers. Throughout its history, the campus' landscape heritage has evolved to comprise a variety of eco-cultural landscape types. Tree Champions of Prince George's County recently recognized 19 champion trees on the university's College Park campus. The tree competition dates back to 1925, when the first Maryland State Forester, Fred W. Besley, compiled the "Noted Tree List" for Maryland. He started an intensive search for big trees of all species growing in Maryland, and sponsored a statewide contest. The American Association of Public Gardens designated the university as an arboretum and botanical garden in 2008. Maryland is also the first university in the state to be honored as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. The campus inventory of over 8,000 trees, garden plantings and nearly 400 acres of undeveloped urban forest is a beautiful reminder of Maryland's history and a harbinger of Maryland's future.