February, our state celebrates Georgia Arbor Day. If you love and appreciate trees as I do, please join us in celebration of trees next month by planting trees and increasing our community tree canopy. To make that more convenient, we have a limited number of trees to give away on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20, to recognize Arbor Day. We are also planting fruit trees in public spaces in the next several weeks as a statewide effort to increase opportunities for public access to fresh fruit. Arbor Day is a unique celebration of trees. The story of the beginnings of Arbor Day is just as impressive.
Arbor Day originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on April 10, 1872. J. Sterling Morton, who served as President Grover Cleveland’s Secretary of Agriculture, was Arbor Day’s founder. Morton had the idea for Arbor Day because he thought there were not enough trees in Nebraska. On that first Arbor Day, there were approximately 1 million trees planted, which is incredible! On April 22, 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska, where it originated.
Twenty years later, every state in America celebrated Arbor Day, except for Delaware. Delaware eventually joined the Arbor Day celebrations, too. This holiday encourages people, whether in groups or as individuals, to plant and care for trees. From its beginnings in Nebraska, Arbor Day has grown to become a recognized holiday worldwide. In 1970, President Richard Nixon declared the last Friday in April to be National Arbor Day. Ultimately, each state named its own Arbor Day, which varies depending on the planting season and climate. That is why here in Georgia, we celebrate Arbor Day on the third Friday in February, which is a great time to plant trees in our climate.
Trees and a healthy tree canopy in our community certainly improve our quality of life. Our goal is to encourage as many local citizens to help us grow our tree canopy. You can reserve a tree from Keep Liberty Beautiful when we start accepting reservations on February 1, 2021online. We will have several types of trees available, like dogwoods, crape myrtles, magnolias, and oaks. Trees are very limited, so reserve early! We want to encourage any civic or youth groups, schools, churches, businesses, and municipalities, as well as individuals, to reserve a tree to plant. More information on how to reserve a tree will be provided on the KLB website www.keeplibertybeautiful.org.
Trees that are reserved can be picked up on Friday, February 19, 2021, at Farmer’s Natural Foods on Hwy 196, 754 Elma G Miles Pkwy, Hinesville, from 9 am until 12 noon. Farmer’s Natural Foods is also giving anyone who picks up their tree on Arbor Day 15% off their choice of smoothies that day. Other locations to pick up trees are the Recycle It! Fair sites from 9 am until 1:00 pm on Saturday, February 20. These locations are:
Liberty County Health Department, 1113 East Oglethorpe Hwy in Hinesville
Liberty County Community Complex, 9397 East Oglethorpe in Midway
Walthourville City Hall, 222 Busbee Drive in Walthourville - There will also be a Shred it! Event, at this site
Just a reminder: these are the items we will collect at the fairs:
CFL’s and fluorescent light bulbs
Used motor oil and antifreeze
Printer ink and toner cartridges
Telephone books, large sale catalogs, and books
Household goods and clothes and shoes
Old prescription medications and over the counter medications
Please help us expand our tree canopy in our community by planting trees! For more information on recycling or the upcoming tree giveaways, contact us at (912) 880- 4888 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our website www.keeplibertybeautiful.org. Think trees!