A short history of Arbor Day
Arbor day was founded by J. Sterling Morton, in Nebraska, to spread the value of trees to all communities. On the first arbor day, over a million trees were planted. It continues today as one of the few holidays that looks optimistically towards the future, and over 3,400 communities have become Tree City USA, a recognition bestowed on communities supporting trees and forestry. Arlington is one of these communities, and we recently celebrated our 21st Arbor Day, and 13th year of the Arbor Day Growth Award.
Arlington is a Tree City USA
Every year, we apply to stay recognized as a Tree City USA. This requires us to:
- Have a tree board and department in charge of taking care of our urban forest. This is met by our Urban Forestry Commission, and our Urban forestry unit
- Enforce a tree care ordinance, to take care of and protect our public trees.
- An annual forestry budget of at least $2 per capita per year.
- An arbor day proclamation and observance
The arbor day celebration is always one of the most fun part of the forester’s jobs, as it is usually held at a school, with music, poetry, and a tree planting, with support from our landscape unit.
It is optional to apply for an additional recognition of the Growth award. This award is given to communities who go beyond the call of duty to improve their programs, through expanded education, partnerships, increased planning efforts, or additional tree planting and maintenance funding.
Arlington has received the growth award for 13 years, and will continue to seek this award, as one of the leading communities in urban forestry in the region. Last year, we added an urban forestry manager position, and completed the i-Tree Eco study.