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Arbor Day Today

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Happy Arbor Day!

Nature lovers out there are coming together on Friday to “plan for an even greener future by planting and caring for trees,” according to a website dedicated to all things Arbor Day.

The day didn’t officially become known as “Arbor Day” until 1874, but it was first celebrated back in 1872, when prizes were given to those who planted the most trees on that day. More than one million trees were planted on the first Arbor Day in Nebraska alone.

Arbor Day was created in honor of pioneer J. Sterling Morton from Detroit, who moved with his wife to Nebraska and quickly planted trees, shrubs and flowers upon their arrival.

While many celebrate the day April 27, some states take part in the festivities on different dates depending on when the time is best for tree planting. In New York, it’s always the last Friday in April, where many celebrate with the Sugar Maple, the state tree. In California, Arbor Day is celebrated March 7-14 where the California Redwood is celebrated, the state tree of California.

Unlike New York and California, in Florida, Arbor Day is celebrated the third Friday of January, where the state tree, the Sabal Palm, is celebrated. In North Dakota, where the American Elm is the state tree, Arbor Day is celebrated the first Friday in May.

Today, those who celebrate Arbor Day on April 27, typically take part in tree plantings or taking nature walks. The Arbor Day website has created a nifty guidebook dedicated to Arbor Day activities.

“Our Celebrate Arbor Day Guidebookshows you a smorgasbord of possibilities,” reads the website that highlights both group and personal ways to celebrate.

“It is an act of optimism and kindness, a labor of love and a commitment to stewardship,” the site says of planting trees.

Also on the list is organizing a beautification project in a public area with a group of friends or family. Another way to celebrate: read a book about trees. “Learn to identify trees in your yard and neighborhood,” reads the website.

Check out more ways to celebrate.

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