Arbor Day in the United States
Celebrate Arbor Day
Arbor Day (or Arbour; from the Latin arbor, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Today, many countries observe such a holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season.
On Arbor Day, people are encouraged to care for their natural environment. It's a time for people to get their hands in the dirt and plant and/or care for trees, bushes, and plants. Events include communal tree planting, exhibitions, fairs, music performances and open days in garden centers. Arbor Day awards are also presented in communities, schools, and organizations throughout the United States.
Arbor Day falls on the last Friday of April in Nebraska. It is a legal holiday so some state offices and historic sites are closed. Some schools are closed, while others remain open, so residents must check with their local school on possible school closures. Some businesses are closed but others may remain open.
Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska. By the 1920s, each state in the United States had passed public laws that stipulated a certain day to be Arbor Day or Arbor and Bird Day observance.
National Arbor Day is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April; it is a civic holiday in Nebraska. Other states have selected the time of year in which to celebrate their own Arbor Day.
The customary observance is to plant a tree. On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted.
First Arbor Day in the world
The Spanish village of Mondoñedo held the first documented arbor plantation festival in the world organized by its mayor in 1594. The place remains as Alameda de Los Remedios and it is still planted with lime and horse-chestnut trees. A humble granite marker and a bronze plate recall the event. Additionally, the small Spanish village of Villanueva de la Sierra held the first modern Arbor Day, an initiative launched in 1805 by the local priest with the enthusiastic support of the entire population.
About Arbor Day
In 1854 J Sterling Morton moved from Detroit to the area that is now Nebraska. He and
other pioneers noticed a lack of trees, which were needed to act as windbreaks to
stabilize the soil and to give shade from the Sun. Morton planted many trees
around his own home and encouraged others to do the same.
On January 4, 1872, he proposed a holiday to plant trees on April 10 that year. This was
known as "Arbor Day" and prizes were awarded to the counties and individuals who planted
the most trees on the day. About one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first
Arbor Day. In 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday and was moved to April 22, which
was Morton's birthday. In 1989 the official state holiday was moved to the last Friday in
April. All states in the US now have an official Arbor Day, usually at a time of year
that has the best weather conditions for planting trees.
First American Arbor Day
The first American Arbor Day was originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, U.S., by J. Sterling Morton. On April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska.
Birdsey Northrop of Connecticut was responsible for globalizing it when he visited Japan in 1883 and delivered his Arbor Day and Village Improvement message. In that same year, the American Forestry Association made Northrop the Chairman of the committee to campaign for Arbor Day nationwide. He also brought his enthusiasm for Arbor Day to Australia, Canada, and Europe.
McCreight and Theodore Roosevelt
Beginning in 1906, Pennsylvania conservationist Major Israel McCreight of DuBois, Pennsylvania, argued that President Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation speeches were limited to businessmen in the lumber industry and recommended a campaign of youth education and a national policy on conservation education. McCreight urged President Roosevelt to make a public statement to school children about trees and the destruction of American forests. Conservationist Gifford Pinchot, Chief of the United States Forest Service, embraced McCreight’s recommendations and asked the President to speak to the public school children of the United States about conservation. On April 15, 1907, Roosevelt issued an "Arbor Day Proclamation to the School Children of the United States" about the importance of trees and that forestry deserves to be taught in U.S. schools. Pinchot wrote McCreight, "we shall all be indebted to you for having made the suggestion."
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Arbor Day is a holiday to promote tree planting
While Napoleon was ravaging Europe with his ambition in this village in the Sierra de Gata lived a priest, don RamónVacas Roxo, which, according to the chronicles, "convinced of the importance of trees for health, hygiene, decoration, nature, environment and customs, decides to plant trees and give a festive air. The festival began on Carnival Tuesday with the ringing of two bells of the church, and the Middle and the Big. After the Mass, and even coated with church ornaments, don Ramón, accompanied by clergies, teachers and a large number of neighbors, planted the first tree, a poplar, in the place known as Valley of the Ejido. Tree plantations continued by Arroyada and Fuente de la Mora. Afterward, there was a feast and did not miss the dance. The party and plantations lasted three days. He drafted a manifesto in defense of the trees that was sent to surrounding towns to spread the love and respect for nature, and also he advised making tree plantations in their localities. — Miguel Herrero Uceda, Arbor Day