It has been over 135 years since J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day. His simple idea of setting aside a special day for tree planting is now more important than ever. With Earth Day earlier this week, I feel like poor Arbor Day often gets overlooked in its importance. Planting a tree is no small task and is one of the best things we can do for a deforested earth. It is an act of optimism and kindness, a labor of love and a commitment to stewardship.
While these ides may come too late in the day, you have the whole weekend ahead of you!
15 Fun Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
- Raise the flag, strike up the band, make Arbor Day fun. Make it memorable. Decorate your house.
- Organize a beautification project in a public area.
- Get people into action. Ask a civic or service group to promote a paper drive to gather paper to be recycled and save a tree. Use the proceeds to buy a special tree to plant in a park or other special public place.
- Hold a poster contest, or a poetry contest.
- Fill the air with music. Have an Arbor Day concert of songs about trees, or with tree names in their titles.
- Sponsor a tree trivia contest. Give away trees to winners.
- Conduct a tree search. Ask people to find large, unusual or historic trees in your community. Once the results are in, publish a map that highlights the winners, or hold a walk showcasing them.
- Tell people to take a hike — a tree identification hike — and have girl scouts or boy scouts act as guides.
- Dedicate a forest, or a tree, or a flower bed in a park, and make it an occasion to talk about stewardship.
- Get a local nursery or garden center to hold an open house. Organize an Arbor Day Fair.
- Encourage neighborhood organizations to hold block parties and get their members to adopt and care for street trees in front of their homes. Pass out buttons. Give away trees.
- Read a book about trees. Learn to identify trees in your yard and neighborhood.
- Enjoy the outdoors. Visit a local park or take a nature hike.
- Attend a class on tree and plant care.
- Volunteer with a local tree-planting organization. You’ll meet new people and make a difference in your community.
If nothing else, make a conscious effort to save our trees by reducing your own personal paper consumption – paper towels, napkins, post-it notes, gift wrapping paper, buying food in boxes or cardboard packaging or printing out emails, documents and paperwork. Or just go outside and hug a tree 🙂
Happy planting, friends!