Friday, April 27, 2012

Proud to be a “tree-hugger”

Photo credit: Upload Bot
Today marks the 140th celebration of Arbor Day in the United States.

Great! But, you’re no doubt asking yourself, just what exactly is Arbor Day and how did it come to be a national holiday?

OK. Sit back. Relax. And enjoy a little cruise down History Lane.

J. Sterling Morton, a pioneer in the Nebraska Territory and a lover of nature, proposed a tree-planting holiday to the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture on January 4, 1872. The date was set for April 10 of that year, and prizes were awarded both to individuals and to counties who planted the most trees on that day. Much to Mr. Morton’s surprise and delight, over more than a million trees were planted that very day in Nebraska!

In 1885, the Nebraska state Legislature declared Arbor Day to be a legal holiday to be celebrated on April 10th every year.

Nationally, the last Friday in April is recognized as Arbor Day – and that just so happens to be today. So, go out and celebrate the beauty that is a tree! Ladies and gentlemen, let the hugging begin!

Click here to read more about the history of Arbor Day. For ideas on how to celebrate or for educational materials, visit the Arbor Day Foundation’s website.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.