Preserving nature for generations to come, the Russellville City Parks & Recreation Department, along with students from Stevenson Elementary planted two trees on April 18th to celebrate Arbor Day. National Arbor Day lands on April 29, however, Kentucky honors this day the first Friday in April.
Arbor Day is a day set aside in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant. Many countries observe such a day, which is usually in the spring or when planting season begins. On Arbor Day, people are encouraged to care for their natural environment. It’s a time for people to get their hands in the dirt and plant and/or care for trees, bushes and plants.
The Parks Department held a 2016 Arbor Day Celebration at Stevenson Elementary. Wal-Mart donated two apple trees. They chose apple trees to fall in line with their support of the Feed the World Program.
“We appreciate Wal-Mart’s continued support of our department and programs,” said Jenn Siebold of the parks department. “We also want to thank Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton, the Russellville Tree Board and the Division of Forestry and parks director Kenny Gregory for helping out.”
Arbor Day Facts:
The idea for Arbor Day in the United States originated in Nebraska City, Neb. Among the pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854 was Julius Sterling Morton from Detroit. He and his wife, Caroline, were lovers of nature, and the home they established in Nebraska was quickly planted with trees, shrubs, and flowers.
Morton was a journalist and soon became editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper. Given that forum, he spread agricultural information and his enthusiasm for trees to a receptive audience. His fellow pioneers missed their trees and needed them for windbreaks, fuel, building materials and shade from the hot prairie sun. A visit to Nebraska today wouldn’t disclose the state was once a treeless plain, yet it was the lack of trees there that led to the founding of Arbor Day in the 1800s.
Morton wrote and spoke about environmental stewardship and the interrelatedness of life. He encouraged everyone to set aside a specific day to plant trees.
In 1872, the State Board of Agriculture accepted a resolution by J. Sterling Morton “to set aside one day to plant trees, both forest and fruit.” The Board declared April 10 Arbor Day and offered prizes to the counties and individuals that properly planted the largest number of trees on that day.
More than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. With this first tree planting holiday observance, J. Sterling Morton became known as the “Founder of Arbor Day.”
Shortly after this 1872 observance, other states passed legislation to observe Arbor Day each year with appropriate ceremonies. By 1920, more than 45 states and territorial possessions were celebrating Arbor Day. Today, Arbor Day is celebrated in all fifty states. Throughout the world, people of all ages are planting trees, caring for them and learning their value.
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