At 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 26, members of the Village of Sunbury Tree & Landscape Commission will hold a workshop in council chambers, Sunbury Town Hall. An Arbor Day commemorative tree planting session follows the workshop at Evening Park in Sunbury.
ISA certified arborist and member of the commission Aaron Noblet will present a workshop on Care of Urban Trees. During the brief planting ceremony, Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield is scheduled to read a Mayoral Proclamation in recognition of Arbor Day.
Tree commission member Dan Shaw has often said: “There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that we should all take time to think about. The best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago. The next best time is today.”
Julius Sterling Morton, a Nebraska newspaper editor, conceived Arbor Day in the 1870’s. Like many pioneers who settled the treeless plains of Nebraska, Morton believed that planting trees would help beautify the state, provide shade and prevent soil erosion by creating windbreaks.
In 1872 Morton proposed a tree-planting day at a meeting of Nebraska’s board of agriculture. The first Arbor Day celebrations were held on April 10 of that year, with prizes awarded to the individual or group who planted the most trees. Sponsors estimated that more than one million trees were planted on the first Arbor Day.
In 1874 Nebraska governor Robert W. Furnas proclaimed a statewide Arbor Day, to be observed on April 8. In 1885 the state of Nebraska made Arbor Day an annual legal holiday and changed its date of observance to April 22, to coincide with Morton’s birthday.
The holiday was soon adopted by other states. Since the 1880s Arbor Day has become popular as a school activity. Today, Arbor Day is observed in many countries throughout the world.
The National Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Nebraska City, Nebraska, oversees and coordinates Arbor Day activities. The Foundation also conducts year-round educational and conservation programs.
For additional information about the Arbor Day Foundation go to < arborday.org >. Join the Arbor Day Foundation, and for a modest $10 membership fee receive 10 free trees, or have 10 trees planted in a national forest in your name.