In the US, there are ten federal holidays, including Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Veteran’s Day, and Memorial Day. These are longstanding special occasions when nonessential federal employees—and many private citizens—are given the day off of work.
An important holiday to keep in mind is Arbor Day, which is happening this year on Friday, April 24. Even though the pandemic may keep us from participating this year, the day is still a significant opportunity to learn about our country’s natural environment.
The first Arbor Day was celebrated on April 10, 1872, in Nebraska City by newspaper editor and tree lover Julius Sterling Morton. He stated, “Arbor Day is not like other holidays. Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future.” The word “arbor” describes the shady, protective canopy that nature creates when tree branches meet overhead.
Arbor Day inspires people to honor nature and the environment by planting trees in their community. The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, celebrate, and nurture trees. The Arbor Day Foundation was founded in 1972 on the 100th anniversary of the first event. Since 1990, the ADF has been responsible for planting over 20 million trees.
The beauty of Arbor Day is the way so many people can participate at home or in their community. While some choose to plant a tree in their yard or business, others can reach out to local authorities (like Bellflower City) for ideas and guidelines to bring their neighborhoods to life. To make the day extra meaningful, people personalize the activity by dedicating their newly-planted tree to someone special.
By learning about the history, understanding the purpose, and getting involved, you can make Arbor day an annual tradition that rewards you with satisfaction and beautifies the environment.