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8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day

04.25.17

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8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day

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  • Big Tree in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is estimated to be 1,500 years old.- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • Old-growth forest of Douglas fir, western hemlock, and western redcedar on the Staircase Rapids Loop Trail.- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • An iconic Joshua tree along the Skull Rock Nature Trail.- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • 'Big Tree' ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa).- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • Neighboring giant ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa).- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • Picturesque bristlecone pine along the Discovery Trail.- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • The Ancient Oaks Trail.- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • The Banyan tree is like a jellyfish with thousands of tentacles hanging down from above.- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • Fortynine Palms Oasis in the Fortynine Palms Canyon.- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides).- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • Joshua Tree National Park.- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • Deschutes River near 'Big Tree.'- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • Bristlecones growing in Patriarch Grove.- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
  • The Ancient Oaks Trail has two components: high (right) and low (left).- 8 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
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Each generation takes the earth as trustees. We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards as we have exhausted and consumed.

-J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day

Arbor Day is an annual observance that promotes stewardship and tree planting while celebrating and honoring trees and the natural world. It was established in Nebraska in the 1800s when Julius Sterling Morton, a pioneer from Detroit and nature lover, wrote in the territory’s first newspaper about his enthusiasm for trees and gardening.

The first observance of Arbor Day occurred in 1872 on April 10, and today it is celebrated in all 50 states. The exact date of the event varies by location, but throughout most of the U.S. it is now celebrated on the last Friday of April. To learn when Arbor Day is in your state, check out the official dates across America.

Show some appreciation for the trees in your life by celebrating Arbor Day this year. Even if your state’s date is fast approaching or already occurred, it’s never too late to get out there and enjoy nature in one more more of the following ways.

  1. Go for a hike through the forest. Be awed by the redwoods, entertained by the quirky Joshua trees, or just comforted by a sturdy oak. Check out Palm Trees on the Fortynine Palms Oasis Hike or the oldest trees in the U.S. on the Bristlecone Pine Trail. Your options are unlimited! 
  2. Pick up trash around your neighborhood or local park.
  3. Volunteer with a local trail crew or watershed council and spend the day swinging a pick or a shovel.
  4. Learn how to identify the trees that you see on a daily basis, both out in the woods in your region or on your daily commute.
  5. Research the lands where you get outside most often. Is it BLM land, national forest, a state park, owned by a local land trust, or what? Knowing who the official stewards of your favorite places are makes a huge difference in how it is managed.
  6. Schedule or take a class on tree pruning, planting, etc. Call around to your local nurseries or gardening shops to see if they are interested in hosting something like this.
  7. Organize a community gathering. A block party, arts and crafts event, a hike, and a storytelling session are all great ways to honor your local forest.
  8. Plant a tree.
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