Celebrate The Trees For Arbor Day in Portland
There’s no second-guessing Oregon’s dedication to trees. Portland as well as Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Tualatin, Happy Valley, Sherwood, Tigard, Troutdale and Gresham have all been named “Tree City USA.” Our state legally celebrates Arbor Day for entire week, and the whole month of April is filled with fun tree-related activities.
History of Arbor Day in the USA
In 1854, pioneer, journalist, and tree-lover J. Sterling Morton moved into the Nebraska territory with his wife, and they immediately decided to plant trees and shrubs all around their property. Morton soon became editor of the county paper and then Secretary of the newly-formed state.
On April 10, 1872, Morton proposed a tree-planting holiday and called it Arbor Day. Prizes were given to counties and individuals for planting the most trees. Some say there were more than a million trees planted in the territory that day.
Nebraska Governor Robert Furnas declared Arbor Day a legal holiday in 1885 and Morton’s birthday, April 22nd, was selected as the official date. All across the state, families and classrooms of school children went out to plant trees. The plantings were celebrated with a parade of more than 1,000 Nebraskans, concluding with a speech from Morton.
Other states began recognizing Arbor day in the 1880s and today all 50 states celebrate it. The most common day to celebrate is the last Friday of the month of April. Oregon as a state celebrates trees for an entire week in the beginning of April, while each city has it’s own chosen day of celebration.
How Can You Get Involved?
The best thing you can do is to get out and plant a tree! Read our post: How To Plant A Tree Like A Pro
The City of Portland will be celebrating Arbor Day with a festival at the Portland Farmer’s Market near Portland State University (South Park Blocks between SW Hall & SW Montgomery) on Saturday, April 26th from 8:30am – 2:00pm. Portland’s Urban Forestry Commission will be handing out the Bill Naito Community Trees award, and the city will receive its 37th annual Tree City USA banner.
Other Arbor Day Activities in Portland:
Friday April, 25– 12:00pm @ Hoyt Arboretum: Discover the history of the Hoyt Arboretum
Saturday April, 26– 10am-1pm @ Wilkes Park: Join the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for an Earth Day Ivy Pull
Saturday April, 26– 2pm-3:30pm @ Belmont Library: Name That Tree! and familiarize yourself with the trees in your neighborhood
Visit the Portland Parks & Rec Website for more Arbor Day activities!
If you can’t get out there and plant a tree or join in the many activities for Arbor day, you can still contribute. Why not give a tree as a gift? Visit the Arbor Day Foundation Website and “you can give hardy trees to your family, friends, customers, guests, or employees. You can even customize your label!” It’s a great gift for any loved one, on any occasion.