Lincoln, Neb. (April 17, 2015) -- Arbor Day Foundation staff will visit Lincoln Public School and Parochial classrooms next week to educate students on the history of Arbor Day and the importance of trees. This year, Arbor Day is observed on Friday, April 24.
Next week, 32 Arbor Day Foundation employee volunteers – many of whom are Lincoln Public School graduates – will give back to their community by visiting a total of 27 elementary schools where they will conduct 42 presentations to 1,918 students, primarily second graders, as the presentations are a natural fit with second grade "garbology" lessons.
President Theodore Roosevelt, in his 1907 Arbor Day Proclamation to the School Children of the United States, said, "When you help to preserve our forests or to plant new ones, you are acting the part of good citizens. The value of forestry deserves, therefore, to be taught in the schools, which aim to make good citizens of you. If your Arbor Day exercises help you to realize what benefits each one of you receives from the forests, and how by your assistance these benefits may continue, they will serve a good end."
Arbor Day originated in Nebraska City in 1872 when journalist J. Sterling Morton proposed a special day be dedicated to tree planting and increasing awareness of the importance of trees.
Morton not only advocated tree planting by individuals, but he also encouraged civic organizations and groups of every kind to join in.
On Jan. 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree-planting holiday, to be called Arbor Day, at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture. The date was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for properly planting the most trees on that day. It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.
The Arbor Day Foundation was founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance. Now celebrated in all 50 states and many countries around the world, Arbor Day is the oldest environmental holiday.
"This is one of the many ways that we provide opportunities for our employees to give to back the Lincoln community," said Matt Harris, Arbor Day Foundation chief executive. "While our work is national and international, our home has always been Lincoln. We're excited that our team can help the children of Lincoln understand the importance of tree planting and care."
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information at arborday.org.