Arbor Day celebrates the importance of trees in our ecosystem. Here, a Korean guest plants a tree in the Philippines as part of a ChildFund project.
Arbor Day, celebrated April 26 this year, is a holiday celebrated around the world that encourages people to plant trees, one of the most vital parts of our ecosystem. Although the Arbor Day tradition began in Nebraska in the late 19th century, many countries around the world have adopted the custom as a means of promoting awareness of environmental sustainability and encouraging people to value trees. ChildFund encourages sustainability through agricultural projects such as community gardens and orchards as well as providing training on organic farming techniques.
One of the key principles of Arbor Day is the planting of new saplings. J. Sterling Morton, a newspaper editor who moved from Michigan to Nebraska in the 1850s, decided to plant trees at his new home not only to remind himself and his family of their home state's forests but also to serve as windbreaks for newly planted crops, offer shade to farmers working in the fields, and provide fuel and construction materials for the burgeoning community. Not content to focus solely on his own backyard, Morton wrote newspaper editorials encouraging others to plant trees. Arbor Day was officially named a holiday in 1874.
Today, almost 150 years after Morton began his annual tree-planting tradition, Arbor Day is an important event on the agricultural calendar of more than 35 countries around the world.
Seeds of Hope
ChildFund realizes how crucial fruit trees are to many communities, especially for families living in developing nations. Malnutrition is one of the most urgent health problems in nations such as Mozambique, where many children lack access to the fruits and vegetables they need to grow up healthily. To address this, our Gifts of Love & Hope catalog offers supporters the opportunity to give a lifelong supply of fruit trees to families in Mozambique.
In addition to providing children with a regular supply of oranges, lemons, guavas, peaches, papayas, avocados, mangoes, coconuts and bananas, a gift of fruit trees can also add to a family's income. As the crop yield from these trees is more than the average family needs to survive, the surplus can be sold at local markets, giving families additional income they can use to purchase other essentials.
Roots in the Community
This Arbor Day, the Arbor Day Foundation website can connect you with like-minded individuals in your area. Volunteering as part of a tree-planting project is an excellent way to connect with other members of your community, work toward a good cause, develop new skills and expand your horizons.
After getting involved this Arbor Day, why not share your experiences with the world? Through the Arbor Day Foundation, you can provide a summary of what made the experience so rewarding, post pictures of your Arbor Day activities, and connect with other volunteers through Facebook or Twitter.
Arbor Day is an ideal opportunity to think about the environment and work with other passionate people toward a good cause. If you're inspired to take further action, consider making a donation to our Gifts of Love & Hope catalog to help families in need establish a self-sustaining garden or orchard.