Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day or Arbor Day?

Do you celebrate either Earth Day or Arbor Day or maybe both?  Arbor Day is usually the last Friday in April – but it is often combined with the popular Earth Day.

Black Maple

Arbor Day began when Julius Sterling Morton (born on April 22nd) began planting trees in Nebraska way back in 1855 when he was editor of the “Nebraska News” newspaper.  He was the first to suggest that a single day be set aside for planting trees and that a prize be offered for the most trees planted by one person on that day.

On a single day (April 10, 1872), thanks to his efforts, a million trees were planted in Nebraska!  Arbor Day was hugely popular before WWII.  Many youth and civic organizations still organize tree-planting events and the President and First Lady still plant a special tree on the grounds of the White House in Washington, DC.
Interest in Arbor Day has slowly been declining in favor of Earth Day and the greater cause of the entire planet’s environmental concerns such as limited resources, global warming, etc., but trees are still immensely important to the planet, especially considering the destruction of rain forests.  They serve as windbreaks, stop erosion and offer much needed shade.  Many times they are placed as living memorials to individuals and after disasters.  So maybe it’s a good idea to combine Arbor Day and Earth Day by selecting a favorite tree that grows well in your area and planting it soon.  The planet will thank you!

For more information, see this link:

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