It’s time to celebrate the wonder of trees! To celebrate Arbor Day – which falls on Friday, April 29, the Arbor Day Festival is set for Saturday, April 30 at For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum, 2142 Genesee Road in Burton, from 12-3pm. Visitors can learn about trees and the important role they play in our ecosystem. The cost is free, and there are activities planned for families and kids of all ages and abilities. For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum has 383 acres of carefully preserved Michigan flora and fauna and one of the state’s finest collections of rare trees.
According to For-Mar’s website, trees are a beneficial part of our ecosystem in many ways. They can reduce topsoil erosion, cut heating and cooling costs in our homes, moderate surface temperatures, clean the air, produce life-giving oxygen, and provide habitat for wildlife. Trees are a renewable resource giving us paper, wood for our homes, fuel for our fires and countless other wood products. Trees increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas, and beautify our community.
The National Arbor Day Foundation states that Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. It was first observed in 1872, in Nebraska Among the pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854 was Julius Sterling Morton from Detroit. He and his wife, Caroline, loved nature and soon planted many trees and flowers around their home. Morton became editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper and shared his love of nature, trees and agriculture with his audience. He encouraged everyone to set aside a specific day to plant trees. In 1872, the Nebraska Board of Agriculture accepted a resolution by J. Sterling Morton “to set aside one day to plant trees, both forest and fruit” and April 10 was declared the first Arbor Day. Morton became known as the founder of Arbor Day.