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National Arbor Day

Nelia Palma

In the United States, Arbor Day is a national holiday celebrated annually on the last Friday of April. It is a time for people to get their hands in the dirt and plant and/or care for trees, bushes and plants.

From the time of J Sterling Morton, the Nebraska resident who proposed, in 1872, a day dedicated to planting trees, people have been aware that these majestic plants were and still are an important component of the natural landscape. As we well know, trees slow down erosion and provide a weather-sheltered ecosystem in and under their foliage. They also play an important role in producing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as well as moderating ground temperatures.

In order to encourage friends and neighbors to plant as many trees as possible, the very first Arbor Day awarded prizes to the counties and individuals who planted the most trees on that day. Today, the tradition and celebrations continue with events such as communal tree planting, exhibitions, fairs, music performances and open days in garden centers. Arbor Day awards are also presented in communities, schools, and organizations throughout the United States.


Always concerned about environmental issues and eager to do their part, the Mother house sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame planted a young and delicate maple for Earth Day in 2010. 

Today, five years later, on US Arbor Day, our little tree is healthy, solidly rooted, continues to grow and will, as the warmer weather arrives, provide a shady spot for whomever sits under its branches.

Photo: Nelia Palma



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