When is the last time you celebrated Arbor Day?

There seems to be something to celebrate nearly every day. Personally, I like that, but I can see where some might think we’ve gone overboard. Bagel Day, for example, might be pushing the limits.

Arbor Day, though, has gotten overlooked. I like the sound of it and not just because my first puppy in training for Guide Dogs was named Arbor. (He was an awesome pup and became a guide, just in case you were wondering.) I like it because I like trees, and I’ll bet you do, too. And we need more trees on this earth.

Wonder how it got started?

According to Wikipedia:

Arbor Day (from the Latin arbor, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. It originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, United States during 1872 by J. Sterling Morton. The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872, and an estimated 1 million trees were planted that day.”

Why in Nebraska?

In the 1850s, Mr. Morton, along with a number of other pioneers, arrived in nearly tree-less Nebraska. They started planting trees for wind breaks, soil conservation, food and to have a place in the shade. Mr. Morton was particularly passionate about trees and not only planted all sorts of varieties around his home, but encouraged others to do so as well.

He became involved in civil government and later became a state official. That’s when Morton instituted the first Arbor Day in Nebraska and it later became a national holiday. His love of trees served him well as he went on to become this country’s third Secretary of Agriculture.

Join me in celebrating Arbor Day this year. Plant a tree or donate one to a school or organization. As you do, think of Mr. Morton, a pioneer with a vision.

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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.