What if there was a national holiday where we celebrate TREES!! That would be really wonderful for the Earth and all of us living here. What if that holiday was in the Springtime during Earth Month!! Well… guess what… there IS. That national holiday is on Friday, April 28 and it’s called Arbor Day.
Arbor Day celebrates the planting, upkeep and preservation of trees. It’s global, celebrated in the Springtime around the world. Preservation of trees brings to mind the destruction of the rainforest – a devastating practice that concerns us all. There are many efforts of organizations to plant trees and repair what has been destroyed. Some organizations focus on the rainforest, some focus in areas where strip mining has been done, and some focus on inner city deserts. We will share two of these inspiring stories.
AMS gives their holiday gift to Rainforest Trust because trees matter and rainforests matter a whole lot. AMS is a B Corporation with a focus on preserving the environment. For several years a group of employees, making up the AMS Green Team, has been engaged in reducing our environmental impact. We report on their progress in our Green Team blog.
Interestingly, people have been concerned with the environment for 150 years as evidenced by Arbor Day! Arbor Day dates back to the 1870s when a couple, Julius and Caroline Morton, purchased 160 acres of land in Nebraska City and planted a wide variety of trees and shrubs in a flat stretch of barren land. Julius Morton became the editor of the state’s first newspaper. He used the platform to stress the ecological importance of trees. His readers recognized the importance of his message and from this beginning came Arbor Day.
Arbor Day became an official state holiday in Nebraska in 1885. Within 20 years Arbor Day was celebrated in every state but Delaware. In 1907 the US President, Theodore Roosevelt, issued an Arbor Day proclamation to school children as follows:
“It is well that you should celebrate your Arbor Day thoughtfully, for within your lifetimes the Nation’s need of trees will become serious. We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied and man so thoughtlessly destroyed.”
How can we celebrate Arbor Day? People often plant a tree and dedicate that tree to a loved one. Trees bring so much reward as they grow and flourish and flower and bear fruit. The founder of Arbor Day left a message that resonates strongly today: “Other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future.”
Some Tree Stories
There are some fascinating historical stories of people planting trees that go back to Spain in 1594, so this idea is not a new thing. But it is more urgent than ever before as we see vital forests and other areas stripped of their animal, plant and tree life in order to extract resources.
We would like to share with readers two stories, among many, of people and organizations giving back life to the land by planting trees. The first is about what is called a ‘food desert’. In a low-income community, in Miami, where there are no fresh food stores and good food is very hard to find, there is a garden growing, with abundant fruit trees that offer the neighborhood food as well as beauty. Quoting from the article:
“Brownsville is what is known as a food desert. Food deserts are areas in urban and rural settings that lack traditional supermarkets—in other words, processed food wastelands. Nearly 24 million Americans live in areas with limited or no access to grocery stores that offer fresh produce. Like so many food deserts, Brownsville was left with little hope. Until the community came together and grew it.” Enjoy the full story HERE.
Our second story is about a wonderful forest in West Virginia called Monongahela National Forest. Apparently when the US Forest Service acquired the land there were areas in the forest that had been mined and they hadn’t been restored. The soil in these areas was compacted and there was no native tree cover. This brings invasive species. You can read the story of how the Arbor Foundation, the US Forest Service and an organization called Green Forests Work went in, removed the invasive species, prepared the land and planted trees. There are 25,000 acres being restored. Link to the story HERE.
We would like to offer one more link just for fun. At this link you’ll find a list of famous trees, giving honor to persons or events: HERE. If you have the space and the inspiration to plant a tree for someone you love, please follow your inspiration, send us a photo of your tree and your dedication and we will add the photo to this blog below. Send to the Green Team and… Samantha Hicks![email protected]