Arbor Day is a holiday that is literally dedicated to trees. Particularly, the planting, care and conservation of them. Trees not only bring an aesthetic beauty to our world but are important to our very survival. They not only provide shelter for many species of birds, animals and insects but they are also the lungs of our planet. Not to mention the fact, that products derived from them – such as paper – are vital to modern society. Therefore, this is an important holiday to bring attention to the importance of trees to our way of life.
It is a holiday that is celebrated on different days of the year in different parts of the world. In the United States, it is observed on the last Friday of April. In Portugal, it is celebrated on March 21st, and in Germany, it’s on April 25th.
A general consensus among historians is that the first ever day dedicated to trees in the world was held in the small Spanish town of Villanueva de la Sierra. It is there that a priest named don Ramón Vacas Roxo drafted a manifesto in 1805 that exalted the joys of trees and nature, and recommended that towns and villages dedicate a day to the planting of tree orchards.
The very first American Arbor Day occurred on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska City, Nebraska and was initiated by newspaper editor and Secretary Of Agriculture Julius Sterling Morton. On that day, over a million trees were planted in the area.
In many of these countries in which it is celebrated today, it is not only celebrated on a national level, but also on a state or provincial level. For instance, while there is a federal observation of this day in the U.S., there are also observations of this day in every single state of the union. In Missouri it is celebrated on the first Friday of April. In Georgia, it is celebrated on the third Friday of February.
Customs And Observations
There are many different ways to celebrate Arbor Day. In fact, the celebration are often as diverse as the people and communities hosting them. However, the Arbor Day Foundation has a few recommendations. Here are a few of them:
Clean Up A Public Park-A great way to celebrate this day is to go to the local park in your community and pitch in with some of your friends to clear up litter.
Plant Trees-An obvious way to commemorate this day is by planting some trees. Pick ones that are native to your area and ones that wont be invasive. You can take it a step further by burying a time capsule in with the roots.
Honor Stewards Of The Environment-Consider honoring the citizens in your community who have made the greatest impact toward the preservation of nature.