This is Arbor Day!
If there’s one day of the year that the forests of the world are thankful for, it would probably be Arbor Day. The word arbor comes from the Latin for “tree,” and on this day, communities throughout the world come together to celebrate trees and plant them together.
They provide oxygen, a home for animals and birds, carbon dioxide control, shade from the sun, windbreaks for shelter from storms, erosion control during rainstorms, and even a way to mark the seasons.
They provide shade in the hot summer months and keep our houses warm during winter. They give us food with their fruit or nuts, and we can use the extracts we make from them in medicines.
What is Arbor Day?
Arbor Day is a special day to celebrate trees and all they do for us and our planet. On this day, communities come together to plant trees and recognize their importance to our ecosystem and physical health.
We celebrate it on the last Friday in April. This year has a special significance because it is the 150th anniversary of the first Arbor Day and the 50th anniversary of the Arbor Day Foundation.
What is the History of Arbor Day?
Arbor Day was first celebrated on April 10th, 1872, by J. Sterling Morton, the Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland.
Morton proposed the day as a way to encourage people to plant trees. The day was an incredible success, with an estimated 1 million trees planted by school children and community members.
Since that time, Arbor Day has become an annual tradition in many countries around the world.
Today, people celebrate Arbor Day by planting trees in their communities, participating in conservation activities like forest clean-ups, and learning about the benefits of trees for people and the planet.
The Arbor Day Foundation
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to promote the planting and stewardship of trees. The foundation was started in 1972 by John Rosenow, inspired by the success of the first Arbor Day 100 years before.
The foundation provides resources and support for communities to plan and carry out their own tree-planting activities. They also offer educational materials about trees, their benefits, and how to plant and care for them.
In the years since its founding, the Arbor Day Foundation has become a global leader in environmental conservation.
Arbor Day Foundation Programs and Projects
The Arbor Day Foundation carries out projects locally and globally to work towards its mission of planting trees to tackle some of the most significant issues the planet faces today.
At a local level, the foundation supports community-based tree planting activities, forest conservation efforts, and educational initiatives.
Some of their projects include a community forestry program under the name of Tree City USA, which honors towns committed to planting and nurturing trees, the Building With Trees program in which they partner with builders and developers, and Tree Line USA, a recognition program for utilities.
At a global level, the foundation promotes reforestation efforts, particularly in areas that have been impacted by deforestation. The Rain Forest Rescue program supports local partners and communities in their stewardship of the vital tropical rain forest ecosystems.
Arbor Day Foundation Fast Facts
Here are some key figures for more background on The Arbor Day Foundation and their work:
- It was created in 1972 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Arbor Day.
- It is one of the world’s largest nonprofit conservation organizations dedicated to planting trees.
- There are nearly 1 million members of the Arbor Day Foundation.
- It works with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters to plant trees in national and state forests.
- It recognizes more than 3,400 communities through the Tree City USA program.
- It has distributed over 4.5 million trees to members to plant.
- The foundation has also planted over 8 million trees in US forests and over 2 million trees in rain forests.
The Arbor Day Foundation is also an excellent resource for learning about trees and information about how to plant and care for them. Their website has many fun and user-friendly educational tools to help any budding arborist up their tree skills.
Here are a few of the tools they offer:
- Hardiness zone lookup. This tool allows you to find out what zones are best suited for different types of trees based on factors like temperature and rainfall.
- Tree identifier. This interactive tool helps you identify different types of trees based on the characteristics and features of their leaves. It also provides information about how to care for every kind of tree.
- Tree planting and care guide. This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to plant and care for trees through all the different stages of their life cycle. It also provides tips on more specific situations, such as how to save trees that have been damaged after a storm or plant trees to stop soil erosion and conserve soil and water.
Whether you are a professional arborist or just someone looking to learn more about trees, the Arbor Day Foundation has tools and resources you can use to explore your passion for these essential and beautiful plants.
This Arbor Day, take some time to celebrate the trees in your life and plant a new one!
It’s also a perfect opportunity to get involved with the Arbor Day Foundation by planting trees, supporting their conservation efforts, or simply learning more about these amazing plants.
No matter how you choose to celebrate Arbor Day, remember that every bit helps when it comes to ensuring a healthy future for our planet.