People have been planting trees for a long,
long time. Throughout our world’s history,
ordinary citizens have planted trees to
restore forests, line avenues, shade
homesteads, renew the human spirit, or
memorialize the past.
The idea of setting aside a day each year to encourage tree planting
would not happen until much later in Nebraska. That’s where the idea was
conceived and the name “Arbor Day” first proposed by J. Sterling Morton,
then a member of the State Board of Agriculture, and later to become United
States Secretary of Agriculture. Morton’s proposal was adopted and over one
million trees planted that first year. The idea quickly spread to other
states and even several countries.
In 1887, Alabama Governor Thomas Seay signed the state’s first Arbor Day
Proclamation. This tradition of a governor’s proclamation continued through
1975 when the Birmingham Beautification Board, the State Garden Club, the
Alabama Forestry Commission, and the State Board of Education collaborated
with the State Legislature to pass a legislative act designating the last
full week in February as Arbor Week. Before, proclamations and official
functions recognizing the event were periodic and in some year's skipped.
Today, Arbor Day is observed throughout the state the same time each year.
What can I do?
Every citizen should know that they can do a lot to celebrate Arbor Week
in Alabama. Here are some suggestions.
Contact your local community leaders and see
if they have plans to celebrate Arbor Week.
If they do, see if you can volunteer your
help. If they don’t, offer to help them
organize an event.
Learn about trees. Trees have many
values and benefits for Alabama communities. Go to the library, attend
workshops, get information from government sources to better understand
how to make your community a better place for people and trees.
Teach others. Inspire your friends,
family and children to appreciate and respect your community forest.
What you pass on to others will last a lifetime. It will also involve
more people in tree planting events where you live
Plant a tree. You can make the world a
better place by planting a tree.