Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The customary observance of the holiday is to plant a tree. On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted. Here are a few ideas of how you can celebrate Arbor Day:
- Organize a beautification project in a public area.
- Get people into action. Ask a civic or service group to promote a paper drive to gather paper to be recycled and save a tree. Use the proceeds to buy a special tree to plant in a park or other special public place.
- Hold a poster or poetry contest.
- Sponsor a tree trivia contest. Give away trees to winners.
- Conduct a tree search. Ask people to find large, unusual or historic trees in your community. Once the results are in, publish a map that highlights the winners, or hold a walk showcasing them.
- Tell people to take a hike – a tree identification hike – and have girl scouts or boy scouts act as guides.
- Dedicate a forest, tree, or flower bed, in a park, and make it an occasion to talk about stewardship. Get a local nursery or garden center to hold an open house or field day.
- Enjoy the outdoors. Visit a local park or take a nature hike.
- Volunteer with a local tree-planting organization. You’ll meet new people and make a difference in your community.
Although Arbor Day is once a year, planting trees year-round and educating people about the environment is a great way to demonstrate conservation!