National Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. It is celebrated on the last Friday in the month of April.
Arbor Day was first observed in 1872 when J. Sterling Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for the planting of trees. This first Arbor Day was celebrated with the planting of more than a million trees in Nebraska. Arbor Day is now observed throughout the world.
Arbor Day in Chatham. Every spring since 2013, Friends of Trees has requested the Chatham select board proclaim Arbor Day in Chatham. Each Arbor Day, Friends of Trees has sponsored an event, which included planting trees, sponsoring a reading of The Lorax to school children, organizing cleanup days in Chatham parks, bringing in experts to speak about trees, giving away native white oak tree saplings, or with help of volunteers, planting 100 white oak saplings on town conservation lands. In 2021, 300 saplings were planted in an effort to restore the canopy that was lost during the destructive 2019 tornadic winds.
Arbor Day celebrations draw attention to the benefits of trees. Trees reduce soil erosion caused by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate land and water temperatures, clean the air, produce life-giving oxygen, provide wildlife habitat, increase property values, and add beauty to the community.