How to Celebrate Arbor Day

Courtesy: National Arbor Day Foundation

Tree PlantingArbor Day is a day set aside for schools, civic clubs, and other organizations, as well as individuals, to reflect on the importance of trees in our state and across our nation. J. Sterling Morton, the father of Arbor Day, initiated the holiday in Nebraska in 1872. He said, “Other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future.”

National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April. Many states have designated a day or week to celebrate tree planting which coincides with their optimal tree planting conditions.

Every tree planted on Arbor Day helps clean the air and water, beautify neighborhoods, provide homes for wildlife, conserve energy, and prevent soil erosion, among many other benefits. Arbor Day gives everyone an opportunity to learn about trees and the environmental, social, economic and health benefits they provide to communities.

Arbor Day presents an opportunity for children, parents, and grandparents to strengthen the bond between generations by planting trees together. It teaches fundamental lessons about stewardship of our natural resources and caring for our environment. There is no more powerful demonstration than helping children plant and care for trees that their own children and grandchildren will enjoy.

Discover ideas on how to celebrate Arbor Day in your community.

Group Celebrations

  • Raise the flag, strike up the band, make Arbor Day fun. Make it memorable.
  • 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.
  • Sponsor a children’s pageant or play.
  • 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 or field day. 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.

Individual Celebration

  • Celebrate Arbor Day in a personal way by planting a tree yourself. It is an act of optimism and kindness, a labor of love and a commitment to stewardship.
  • 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.
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