Arbor Day – what do you picture when you read or hear those words? For many people, the thought of trees would probably be first and foremost. Celebrated on the last Friday of April, Arbor Day is a special day set aside for planting trees. Started in 1872, Arbor Day puts national and worldwide focus on the importance of trees.
Have you celebrated Arbor Day recently? When I was a kid, Arbor Day in my hometown meant the planting of trees in the middle of the square and elementary school children reading their poems about trees to an audience of parents, teachers, and onlookers. Those trees that were planted when I was little are now tall and stately, a constant reminder that trees are more than just beautiful, but necessary.
So celebrate this holiday all month long by reading about Arbor Day and trees (the story of Wangari Maathai, who planted trees all over Africa and enlisted thousands of women to do the same is truly amazing!), making tree crafts, and most importantly, by planting a tree or two! Any type of tree will do! You will be amazed at how quickly they grow!
Want to read about Arbor Day and trees? Check out this list of great books!
- Arbor Day Square by Kathryn Galbraith
- Arbor Day by Mir Tamim Ansary
- Wangari’s Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter
- Wacky Trees by D.M. Souza
- A Kid’s Guide to How Trees Grow by Patricia Ayers
- Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Trees of the World by Margi Preus
- The Happiness Tree by Andrea Alban Gosline
- We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow
- Curious George Plants a Tree by Monica Perez
- …and lots more!
How about some great tree crafts?
- Plant a tree, then water it with this plastic jug watering can
- Observe how leaves change colors with this changing seasons tree
- Celebrate spring by making a cherry blossom tree craft
- Try your hand at making a twisty paper bag tree
- Pick a tree coloring page!
And don’t forget to plant a tree! You can buy one from a local garden center or nursery, harvest seeds from one of your own trees, or join the Arbor Day Foundation (for the price of membership) and receive trees from them. Also, you can check to see if your city is a Tree City USA member (and check out all the great resources from the Arbor Day Foundation.)
How are you celebrating Arbor Day this year?