This coming Friday, we will celebrate Georgia Arbor Day. If you love and appreciate trees like I do, then please join us in celebration of trees this week by planting a tree and increasing our community tree canopy.
To make that easier, we have a limited number of trees to giveaway next weekend in recognition of Arbor Day. But first, let me share the story of Arbor Day with you.
According to WorldHistoryProject.org, Arbor Day in the United States originated April 10, 1872, in Nebraska City, Nebraska. J. Sterling Morton, a newspaper editor and former Nebraska Territory governor, wanted a holiday that encouraged tree-planting. On that first Arbor Day (The name “arbor” means “tree” in Latin, according to softschool.com), there were approximately 1 million trees planted, which I think is incredible. In 1885, Nebraska changed Arbor Day to April 22, which is Morton’s birthday. Each state celebrated Arbor Day by 1907.
In 1883, according to ct.gov, Birdsey Northrop – Connecticut’s former secretary of the board of education and tree enthusiast — traveled to Japan and was instrumental in getting that country’s minister of education to embrace the idea of an Arbor Day. Northrop also went to Australia, Canada and Europe with his message.
In 1970, President Richard Nixon declared the last Friday in April to be Arbor Day, per arbor-day.net.
The date that a country or state celebrates its own Arbor Day can vary, depending on the planting season and climate. That is why here in Georgia we celebrate our Arbor Day on the third Friday in February.
Trees and a healthy tree canopy in our community certainly improve our quality of life. This weekend, we will be celebrating trees by providing a limited number of trees for planting. Our goal is to encourage as many local citizens to help us grow our tree canopy. We will give away trees Friday-Saturday, Feb. 20-21. If you would like to reserve a tree, we will have several types— dogwoods, crape myrtles and oaks. We encourage any civic or youth groups, schools, churches, businesses, municipalities and individuals to reserve a tree to plant, while our supplies last. To reserve a tree, call Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tree pick-up will be from 9 a.m.-noon Friday, Feb. 20, at Farmers Natural Foods, 754 Elma G. Miles Parkway in Hinesville, or at a Recycle It! Fair site from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21. These locations are:
• Liberty County Health Department, 1113 E. Oglethorpe Highway
• Midway Police Department, 10490 E. Oglethorpe Highway in Midway
• Walthourville City Hall, 222 Busbee Drive in Walthourville
For more information on recycling or the tree giveaways, call us at 880-4888, email email@example.com or check out our website at www.keeplibertybeautiful.org. Happy Arbor Day!