Friday, April 30, 2021

A celebration and history of Arbor Day

Happy Arbor Day! I described my choice of blogging topics for today at the end of 'Contagion' vs. COVID-19 updates last year's most commented entries on Throwback Thursday.
Tomorrow is Arbor Day, but I might use it for a Flashback Friday retrospective anyway. Stay tuned to find out.
I decided that writing another retrospective today would be too time consuming, especially since I'm grading final exams, so I'm writing a short entry dedicated solely to Arbor Day today, the first ever on this blog.* Here is the holiday's description from National Day Calendar.
Each year in April, National Arbor Day encourages us to celebrate and plant trees. The observance takes place each year on the last Friday in April.

Trees provide vital protection for the Earth’s topsoil from erosion, oxygen, and homes for wildlife. They also are a renewable resource that provides a variety of materials for building, fuel, and office supplies.

Trees beautify our environment, provide shade on a sunny day, and improve our quality of life. The day celebrates all these things and aims for American generations to enjoy all the benefits trees have to offer.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalArborDay

Celebrate the day by planting a tree today. You can also spend time caring for trees in your area. Join an event near you or organize one in your community. Consider the trees you plant, too. While you may look for fast-growing trees so that you may enjoy the tree during your lifetime, planting a slower-growing tree is an investment in the future. Generations to come will enjoy the shade and beauty of the tree long after we’re gone. And leaving something as precious as a tree behind is quite an investment.
To see a tree planting, watch City of Calabasas Arbor Day 2021 from right next door to where I grew up.

It was a great Arbor Day celebration. Volunteers planted dozens of trees in an area off Agoura Road. Nice event — part of #EarthWeek2021
I'm glad to see the volunteers using Arbor Day to repair the damage from the Woolsey Fire.
I saw the damage up close in January 2019, when my mom and I drove from her California house to the sea and back. Once we hit the burnt area, we didn't leave it until we got to Malibu; the fire burned all the way to the coast. I was astounded. It's one thing to watch the news reports; it's another to see it up close and in person.
That experience shocked me. This video gives me some hope.

Three years ago, I remarked that "Arbor Day is probably the oldest environmental holiday." Watch Bottom Line Up Front: The History of Arbor Day from TV20 Cleveland to see how old.

National Day Calendar summarizes the history of the day.
On April 10, 1872, journalist and newspaper editor J.Sterling Morton established Arbor Day in the state of Nebraska with hopes that it would spread across the country. This first celebration challenged the people of Nebraska to plant as many trees as they possibly could. Since the pioneers missed the trees and forests of the east, they answer the challenge by planting more than 1 million trees that very first year.
Before watching the TV20 video, I hadn't known that Richard Nixon proclaimed the last Friday in April as Arbor Day and made it a national holiday. Add that to creating the EPA and signing the Endangered Species Act as actions that made him the second most environmental president in U.S. history.

That's it for April's blogging. Stay tuned for a drum corps May Day to kick off the new month.

*I came close in 2018, when I concluded Holidays for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News on Arbor Day by writing "I might actually devote a post just to Arbor Day." It only took me three years.

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