April Celebrations : 4/22 Earth Day & 4/30 Arbor Day
by Jill McDonald
Happy Earth Month! The month of April is full of celebrations to pause and appreciate the earth, as it seems to come alive with warming weather! Let’s explore two well-noted holidays, Earth Day and Arbor Day!
Next week on April 22 is Earth Day! Every year on that date many people in the United States and around the globe celebrate the Earth. This annual celebration is intended to raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire personal action towards a sustainable environment.
The history of Earth Day goes back to September 1969 at a conference in Seattle, WA. Senator Gaylord Nelson announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on the environment. He wanted to show other U.S. politicians that there was widespread public support for a political agenda centered on environmental issues. According to www.earthday.org, “the first Earth Day was a success with over 20 million demonstrators participating that year, along with thousands of schools and communities.”
Continuing celebrations in Earth Month, this year on April 30 is National Arbor Day! This national holiday encourages individuals and groups to plant trees. It is typically observed on the last Friday of April every year. However, many states also celebrate their own Arbor Day, to coincide with the best tree planting weather in their regions.
The history of Arbor Day dates back to 1872 to the state of Nebraska. Newspaper Editor J. Sterling Morton had a love for trees and advocated strongly for individuals and civic groups to plant them. Later he became secretary of the Nebraska Territory and proposed a tree planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day.” The celebration was set for April 10, 1872 and prizes were offered for the largest number of properly planted trees on that day. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, “It was estimated that more than 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.”
So as we remember the holidays that celebrate the earth, let’s also not forget the words from The Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”
We each can have a positive impact on the earth through our daily actions. Locally, check out and perhaps support The Buchanan Tree Friends, whose mission includes, “improving the beauty of the city’s streets…which will provide shade, environmental and health benefits to all inhabitants of Buchanan.” For further information, check out their page www.facebook.com/BuchananTreeFriends.
Furthermore, did you know that Buchanan was recognized by The Arbor Day Foundation and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources with a Tree City USA diabetic for 2020?! Congrats Buchanan!
Jill K. McDonald is a freelance nature & travel educator, writer, photographer, and speaker. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with her on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/naturetravelerjillmcdonald.