National Arbor Day has been celebrated since the very first Arbor Day on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska. A pioneer named J. Sterling Morton,
who had moved to the Nebraska territory in 1854, had the greatest influence in creating
the holiday, and he worked hard to establish the importance of planting and maintaining
trees throughout the country.
For pioneers in the Midwest, planting trees was
incredibly important for fuel, building materials, and even just having some
shade amidst all the flat plains. On the first Arbor Day, it is believed that
over one million trees were planted in Nebraska. Now, National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of April, but each state has its own special Arbor Day to plant trees at the most opportune time for their growth
If you are interested in the history of Arbor Day and the
story of J. Sterling Morton, you can find out more here
If you want to get involved with Arbor Day in your own state or town, learn
about planting and growing trees here
To see when your state celebrates Arbor Day, check out this map
Keep in mind that for many Southern states, state Arbor Day is celebrated
earlier in the year!
Arbor Day Square
is a great book to
teach your child the importance of helping the environment, and it also comes with the additional free resource of a teacher's guide
Katie and her
papa are among a group of settlers building a town in the middle of the dusty,
brown prairie. Every week the trains bring more people and more lumber to
build houses, fences, and barns. New buildings go up including a church with a
steeple, a store with glass windows, even a schoolhouse with desks for all the
But one thing is
townspeople take up a collection to order trees from back east, Katie adds her
own pennies and Papa's silver dollar. When the tiny saplings finally arrive,
Katie helps dig holes and fetch water. Then in a quiet corner of the public
square, Katie and Papa plant a flowering dogwood in memory of Mama.
Let us know how you chose to celebrate Arbor Day!
Labels: Backlist Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Holidays, Nature, Picture books