Garden club presents program on Arbor Day
On March 12, the Woodland Garden Club met with Clarke Elementary School students at the school. Mary Jane Fink presented a program entitled “Arbor Day: Planting Trees.”
A long time club member and master gardener, Fink explained the origins of the holiday to those assembled.
Born in 1832, J. Sterling Morton grew up surrounded by trees. After he and his wife settled in the Nebraska Territory, he was disappointed with the lack of trees in the area. Both of them set about planting various trees and other plants around their home.
Also, as a journalist and editor of the state’s first newspaper, he expressed to the public his enthusiasm for trees and encouraged others to start planting them.
In addition to his fondness for trees, lumber was in short supply and trees also provide other benefits, such as shade and windbreaks that protect the soil. So, he declared April 10, 1872, as the first Arbor Day. Motivated by Morton efforts and the incentive of prizes for the most trees planted during that day, it is estimated that the total number planted on that date exceeded one million.
States across the country observe the holiday on different dates, depending on what each states considers the best time for planting to be. In North Carolina, it falls on the first Friday following March 15. (This year, it was March 22.)
Following the program, students assisted club members in planting a tree on school grounds in honor of the holiday.