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2006 National Arbor Day Awards

Heritage Award

Nebraska City, NE

Arbor Day founder, J. Sterling Morton started the Arbor Day tradition in 1874 in Nebraska City, Nebraska, and the celebrations and traditions have continued ever since. On the first Arbor Day, Nebraska residents planted over a million trees. J. Sterling Morton was a journalist who in his writing, not only advocated for individuals to come together to plant trees, but also for businesses and civic organizations to join in the celebration.

In April of 2005, Nebraska City celebrated its 133rd annual Arbor Day. They continued Morton’s vision of tree planting by planting and dedicating trees to people for their devotion to Nebraska City and the environment. Nebraska City kids joined in by creating logos and posters for the celebration, which last year was themed “Branching Around the World”, and they also attended the children’s program held on Arbor Day, where they were given free trees. Businesses and local organizations were also involved, having sales specifically for the holiday, enticing the tourists and helping the local economy. In preparation for Arbor Day, city residents took on a major cleaning effort in order to get ready for the celebration as well as to make the city beautiful. By giving away free trees, creating activities for families and guests, and celebrating the environment, Nebraska City honors the principles of J. Sterling Morton every year.

This year’s winners are: