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Arbor Day was started by J. Sterling Morton in the State of Nebraska as a way to stop soil erosion. That first Arbor Day, over 1 million trees were planted. Now Arbor Day is celebrated in all fifty states but in different months so that they hit the best days to plant trees.
Why would you want a day to honor trees? Arbor Day precedes Earth Day by years. The first official Arbor Day was in 1872. Its focus is to replant forests that have been cut down in the name of housing development and manufacturing or due to wildfires and natural disasters. But also to beautify the areas in which we live.
Remember back to High School Science. Trees, we were taught, provide us with oxygen and absorb our carbon dioxide. They also hold the soil down to the earth helping to stop soil erosion and to provide the earth with shade which helps with global warming. When trees are cut down, this affects our air and create vast wastelands. Wild fires and natural disasters play a part too. So we celebrate Arbor Day as a day of stewardship to the planet that we live on.
Today is a good day to remember what our country looked liked when the first settlers arrived. In the preceding years, there have been mass harvesting of trees in many areas which leave big scars on the land. With good steward ship, these areas can be brought back, soil erosion stopped and the animals that depend on these areas again can flourish.
So why acknowledge Arbor Day in your town or city? Because with the planting of new trees in your area, you will help to cleanse the very air that we breathe. Because it helps to beautify the very areas that we live and play in. We are the stewards of our towns and cities, these small places on this planet that we call home. Trees are an investment in the future. They also increase your properties value and help to reduce run off into our water sheds and waste water systems. While it is sunny today, our ground is still frozen from the last snow storm. No planting today! This is the time to plan, not plant.
Have you had a natural disaster in your area? Volunteers are needed every where to help plant trees to repair damages. There have been terrible ice storms in the mid-west that have cause many trees to die. Many trees will need to be replanted. Our National forests are in danger due to wildfires and insect infestations that are killing many trees. There are just so many ways that you can help. Organize your local scouts to plant trees that have been damaged or new ones just to beautify where you live. Church groups and other organization can help also but even just a group of neighbors can start a movement. The National Arbor Foundation will even give you 10 free trees that are suited for what every part of the country that you live in for just a modest donation.
Maybe your city park could use a few new trees, think about donating and planting a few. Maybe you would like to plant a tree in memory of someone, it does not necessarily mean for someone who died. How about planting one for that teacher that inspired you, the friend that helped lead you down the right path or the birth of a new baby. Some of these trees will live and prosper long after these memories are gone. They will provide shade and oxygen for many generations. What a wonderful gift this would be to your community or to your home.
So come join me this Arbor Day and plant a memory for that special someone in your life or to just help our planet. It all starts one tree at a time.
Editor's Note: Post your own stories and photos about how you celebrate Arbor Day in your community.