The Arbor Day Legacy (Part 1 of 2)
Sterling Morton created his own Arbor Day Legacy but chances are you’ve heard of his work. For more than 140 years, each April we recognize his passion for nature and his love of trees by observing Arbor Day.
Morton recognized the value of planting trees because of the benefits they could provide including windbreaks, fuel, building material, and shade. He began to encourage his neighbors, community members, and civic organizations in the Nebraska territory where he lived to plant trees. He later served as Secretary of that same Nebraska territory further allowing him to spread his passion for planting trees.
In January 1872, Morton proposed a tree-planting holiday to the State Board of Agriculture. Three months later the first Arbor Day was held with an estimate of more than one million trees planted in Nebraska. Several years later, Arbor Day became a legal holiday in the state of Nebraska and grew to be a national observance which we still recognize today. In fact, in 2005, President George W. Bush planted a tree on the north lawn of the White House to commemorate Arbor Day. Closer to home and more recent, the organization, Friends of Trees, located in Portland, was the 2015 recipient of the award for Excellence in Partnership.
Arbor Day Legacy
Arbor Day is observed in all 50 states each year. While it is annually recognized on the last Friday of each April, most states have adopted their own day in the spring that best suits the regional climate and ideal planting season to celebrate.
Cities all over the country host community-wide events in honor of Arbor Day. Tree-planting organizations often sponsor events that invite volunteers to plant trees. Community clean-up days and other ceremonial activities are also often held in conjunction with Arbor Day, which garners a lot of participation from schools and youth programs.
Arbor Day festivities are successful because of the individuals that step up to taking action in promoting them. Being able to advocate the benefits of trees is an invaluable resource that will enhance our communities for many, many generations. If you would like to take a proactive role in organizing an Arbor Day event, check out these suggestions at www.arborday.org/celebrate for information.
If you are planning to plant a tree to commemorate Arbor Day but need some guidance as to what would be best for your property and its unique attributes, don’t hesitate to call the professionals at Arbor Pro NW. Our service area includes Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tualatin, Sherwood, and beyond. The certified arborists at Arbor Pro NW are happy to help you choose the right tree to enhance the beauty and value of your property and uphold the Arbor Day Legacy of Sterling Morton.