Friday, April 25, 2008

Arbor Day: Earth Day's Red-Headed Stepbrother

Today being Arbor Day and all, I thought it would be best to find out what Arbor Day actually is. According to Wikipedia, this is a holiday in celebration of J. Sterling Morton, who migrated out to Nebraska and found a dearth of trees. Realizing that you can’t really build anything without wood, Morton became a cheerleader for the new settlement and offered prizes to those who would plant trees on April 10, 1874. Apparently, an estimated 1 million trees were planted that day! Nebraska adopted Morton’s birthday, April 22nd, as the official Arbor Day.

Soon, other states jumped on this bandwagon. The date to celebrate is usually the last Friday of April due to the soil being better suited for planting, but some states celebrate it a little earlier (I’m looking at you, Florida, Louisiana and Alabama)!

Some other countries have also adopted Arbor Day, most giving it the cool and original name of National Tree Planting Day. I’ll admit though, I’m a little more partial to Venezuela’s “Dia del Arbol”, as everything sounds better in Spanish.

So now that I’ve dropped some knowledge on you, what are you waiting for? Go plant a tree already!

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