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Earth Day, which has really turned into Earth Week (and even Earth Month) is an opportunity to bring awareness to ecology, climate change, climate justice, conservation, and everything that falls under the umbrella of “environmentalism.” However, today also happens to be Arbor Day–a day set aside on our calendar with the sole purpose of planting trees.
Why This Matters: Arbor Day is actually our oldest environmental holiday and, like most Earth Day events, has been forced to cancel in-person events due to COVID-19. But in a time of massive deforestation as well as the deadly effects that deforestation–such as intensifying wildfires and the spreading new diseases–we shouldn’t forget to celebrate the day!
How You Can Still Celebrate: As EcoWatch reported, the Arbor Day Foundation is taking extraordinary steps to help people still feel connected. The foundation is asking people to post a photo of a tree of your preferred social media platform (Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook), use the hashtag #ArborDayAtHome, and tag their foundation (@arborday). The foundation will then plant a tree for you! They hope to plant over 50,000 trees by Arbor Day.
The foundation is still sending potted trees to those that would want to plant their own or you can go on a hike in your local area to appreciate the forestry around you. There’s no wrong way to celebrate Arbor Day but it’s an important day to remember.
Arbor Day’s Beginnings
Thanks to the passion of a journalist named Julius Morton and his wife Caroline, a day devoted to playing trees was created in 1872. The couple moved to Nebraska City, NE where they bought 160 acres of land to plant a wide assortment of trees and shrubs on thair prairie land parcel. The couple was strong in their advocacy for more forestation in Nebraska, so Mr. Morton proposed a day to encourage fellow Nebraskans to plant trees in their own communities. But the holiday idea didn’t stop there. It quickly spread across the country, and even the world!
As the World Economic Forum recently wrote, miniature urban forests (often no bigger than a tennis court) planted using a method invented by a Japanese botanist in the 1970s are growing in popularity. Known as “Miyawaki” forests, these dense groups of trees are bursting with biodiversity and grow more quickly and absorb more CO2 than […]
By Julia Fine A new study published this month by Jennifer A. Devine et al. found that in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve, forests governed via community-based resource management are more resilient to narco-deforestation than state-run parks. As Fred Pearce reported in Yale Environment 360, the study calculated that up to 87% of the deforestation was […]
A new study published yesterday in the journal Science Advances found that in Indonesia, a country with bountiful but highly exploited natural resources, a national anti-poverty program also reduced deforestation as a side benefit.
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