Join Arlington’s Arbor Day Celebration and L.E.A.F. Tree Giveaway on March 12
By Danica Dodson, Arlington Parks & Recreation
Posted on March 04, 2021, March 04, 2021

Bald cypress tree

Arlington Parks and Recreation’s Forestry and Beautification team will host the annual Arbor Day Celebration on March 12, 2021, at the new East Library and Recreation Center located at Bob Cooke Park, beginning at 9 a.m.  This year’s event will include a special presentation at noon to highlight some of the trees growing at Bob Cooke Park. Visitors will also have the opportunity to talk with a certified arborist and ask any questions they have about trees.  

Additionally, nearly two thousand free bald cypress, bur oak, loblolly pine, post oak, pecan, and other seedlings will be available beginning at 9 a.m. through the L.E.A.F. Tree Giveaway Program at this year’s event.

What is Arbor Day? 

Simply put, Arbor Day is all about celebrating trees! Arbor is the Latin word for “tree”, so the purpose behind “tree day” is easy to see. Arbor Day highlights the importance of trees and forests and is often celebrated by planting new trees and caring for existing trees.

When did Arbor Day originate?

The first Arbor Day originated on April 10, 1872, in Nebraska City, Nebraska. As the former Governor of Nebraska and later the US Secretary of Agriculture, Julius Sterling Morton believed trees were valuable to people not only as a source of timber and firewood but also for aesthetic beauty and environmental benefits. Nebraska lacked trees that those coming from the Eastern US were accustomed to having for shade and wood uses, making large-scale tree planting a very successful idea in the area. Morton led the movement to plant over 1 million trees that day across the state of Nebraska, and Arbor Day was born.

Today, we don’t have a strong reliance on the wood produced by local trees as pioneers once did, but we still need the shade and environmental benefits trees provide. The City of Arlington supports the spirit of Arbor Day by providing free trees to citizens every year and by celebrating the importance of trees every spring. These efforts have earned Arlington the Tree City USA designation for 21 consecutive years.

Jeremy Priest, APRD’s Forester and a certified arborist, says there is no better time to plant trees than right now. “We can’t fast-forward to a big tree, and while trees can certainly outlive us, that isn’t always the case, unfortunately,” explains Jeremy. “The future depends on the trees planted now.”

Be a part of Arlington’s Arbor Day Celebration on March 12! Whether you’d like to grab some free trees to plant, learn more about Arlington’s urban forest, or just appreciate the trees outdoors on a nice spring day, we hope to see you at Bob Cooke Park, located at 2025 Craig Hanking Drive.

Gardening, Forestry, City Council District 5
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