Friday, April 20, 2018

It's Arbor Day in Colorado by Carol King

The first celebration of an Arbor Day was organized by the mayor in the Spanish village of Mondoñedo in 1594. The first “modern day” Arbor Day happened in Spain in 1805 in the village of Villanueva de la Sierra and was organized by a local priest, Don Ramón Vacas Roxo. According to author and professor Miguel Herrero Uceda, Don Ramón was “convinced of the importance of trees for health, hygiene, decoration, nature, environment and customs” and decided “to plant trees and give a festive air.” After celebrating Mass on Carnival Tuesday, Roxo, accompanied by other clergy, teachers, and villagers, planted a poplar tree. The celebration and plantings lasted three days. The priest was so moved by the importance of trees that he wrote a manifesto in their defense and sent it to neighboring towns to encourage people to protect nature and establish tree plantations. From the Smithsonian.

The very first Arbor Day in the United States was celebrated in Nebraska in 1872 and was inaugurated by planting over a million trees in just one day. It was the idea of J. Sterling Morton, who promoted tree planting while employed for the Nebraska Territory. In Colorado, the third Friday in April each year is “set apart and known as "Arbor Day," to be observed by the people of this state in the planting of forest trees for the benefit and adornment of public and private grounds, places, and ways in such other efforts and undertakings as shall in harmony with the general character of the day established.”Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S. 24-11-104)”

Celebrate this Arbor Day by planting a tree of course! Here’s a video on “doing it properly.”