Friday, April 25, 2014

Arbor Day

J. Sterling Morton is recognized as the Founder of Arbor Day. It was first celebrated in Nebraska on April 10, 1872 when the citizens of our young state planted over 1 million trees. It became our annual State Holiday in 1925 and after most states had established a date for such a celebration, President Nixon established the last Friday in April as National Arbor Day. While we didn't plant a tree today, we certainly have planted many of them over-the-years. We can drive around Seward and enjoy looking at trees I planted over 50 years ago. We planted many seedlings the first spring after we bought the farm in 1980 and one of the Concolor Firs from that group is over 40' high in our back yard. Seward has continued to be a "Tree City USA" with a wide variety of species within the City. A few years ago our First Impressions Committee planted a grove of Black Walnut and Pecan trees on City Property in a Flood Plain that are doing well. Elaine's experience with the Forest Service helped me to realize that trees are a lot like people, none of them are perfect and they have a limited life cycle. We must continue to plant and care for our trees for sustainability. John Rosenow who is wrapping up a 42-year career with the Arbor Day Foundation, quoted J. Sterling Morton who wrote, "Each generation takes the earth as trustees. We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards as we have exhausted and consumed." You Trivia buffs would be interested in knowing that the J. in Morton's first name is for Julius. I won a cap on that question Monday when we had an Arbor Day Foundation speaker at Kiwanis.

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