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Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Arbor Day

It all started with one man, and his love for trees. Arbor Day dates back to April 10, 1872 and can be attributed to Julius Morton, he and his wife moved to Nebraska, but their 'roots' were in Michigan. They noticed the lack of trees in Nebraska and observed it to be "The Great American Desert". Both were nature lovers and began to immediately plant trees and orchards, they encouraged their friends and neighbors to do the same. Not only do trees make the land more beautiful, but they are and were useful as well. They act as a windbreak, keep soil in place, supply fuel for burning, can be used for building materials, and provide shade.

Morton was a journalist and became the editor of Nebraska's first newspaper making him influential within the community. He inspired many readers to plant trees as well as numerous civic organizations. His popularity rose and later became Secretary of the Nebraska Territories. During this time he purposed Nebraska's first Arbor Day, a day set aside dedicated to planting trees. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for planting the largest number of trees. It is reported that over one million trees were planted on that very first Arbor Day back in April 1872. The idea has spread, and 50 states and many countries are now celebrating Arbor Day.

It is amazing the difference that just one person can make in this world.

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