April Environmental Celebration - Arbor Day
Friday, April 30th
Arbor Day was initiated in Nebraska in April 1872 when people moving west realized there was a dearth of trees to provide windbreaks for farms and to stabilize the soil. By 1920, 45 states and territories celebrated Arbor Day by planting trees in their communities. Today, Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states, generally on the last Friday in April.
Trees provide many benefits: capturing carbon, offering shade, removing pollutants, providing oxygen, cleaning ground water, benefiting wildlife, and offering a source of beauty and spirituality. While all kinds of trees add beauty, native trees are especially beneficial to wildlife and the local ecosystem. For example, native oaks support over 550 species of caterpillars and moths, as opposed to ginkgo trees, which are native to Asia and host only 5 regional species of caterpillars. Birds, particularly migrating species, need these caterpillars and other insects to survive.
Take Action Steps:
- Plant trees on your own land, or support organizations that plant trees, such as the Living Lands and Waters Million Trees Project.
- Plant the right tree for your region, being aware of insect infestations, such as the Emerald Ash Borer. Be sure to plant it in the right location for sunlight and its full-grown canopy.
- Properly water and fertilize your new or existing tree. New trees require 4-10 gallons each week during the first growing season, while established trees need one inch of water weekly.
- Join organizations that support trees, such as the Arbor Day Foundation, American Forests, or One Tree Planted.
For more information, check out these links: