Happy Arbor Day! In honor of this tree-loving holiday, we thought it would be fun to take a quick look at the history of Arbor Day, along with some tips and ideas for how you can honor it in your own home. You can read a full history of Arbor Day right here on the Arbor Day Foundation website - but here’s a quick summary:
The first American Arbor Day was held in Nebraska in 1872 - on that day, it’s estimated that a million trees were planted throughout the state. Arbor Day was started by an agricultural enthusiast named J. Sterling Morton, who also happened to be the editor of a Nebraska newspaper. He used his platform to spread knowledge about agriculture and trees, and soon his influence grew. Eventually, he proposed the idea of an Arbor Day to encourage the citizens of Nebraska to plant more trees where they lived, and it was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to the counties who planted the most trees, and the idea quickly took hold around the country. Throughout the 1870’s more and more states began to add Arbor Day to their list of observed holidays, and today it’s celebrated across the country each spring.
So, how exactly do you participate in Arbor Day? It’s easy! Here are a few ideas for how you can get involved:
Plant a tree. The most obvious way to get involved is to simply plant a tree in your own yard. As a bonus, go for a fruit tree so you can start growing some delicious fruit for your family! Here’s a quick guide to get you started.
Go on a hunt around your neighborhood or city for the oldest and biggest trees. Talk to your children about trees that hold a special significance in your area.
Head to the library and check out some books about trees. The children’s section will likely have lots of kid-friendly options, and you can spend some time reading them as a family.
Make a trip to your favorite park and dedicate an hour or so to cleaning up a bit. Look for trash or other debris - recycle what you can and toss the rest.
Do some research to find a local organization that is holding an event for Arbor Day and sign up to volunteer or attend. It’s a great way to get involved in the community and give back!
For even more great ideas for how to get your family (or even your entire community) involved in Arbor Day, this is a great resource.
If you are interested in an Arbor Day philanthropic opportunity, here are a few of our favorites: