April 24, 2013
LINCOLN, Neb. — Arbor Day is a perfect time to plant a gift that gives to this generation and those to come.
"Celebrating Arbor Day by planting trees contributes to the community in so many ways. Aside from the beauty they provide, trees benefit the environment and save tax dollars through stormwater capture, energy savings from shade and providing desirable public spaces," said Graham Herbst, Nebraska Forest Service's community forestry specialist for eastern Nebraska.
Arbor Day is Friday (April 26). A Nebraska creation, first observed in 1872, it is a reminder that settlers of the Plains knew the value of trees for protection and beauty, especially since there were so few here when they arrived.
The forest service notes there are several ways to celebrate the day.
"Plant a tree in your home landscape with your children, grandchildren or neighborhood children. Purchase a tree to be planted in a local park or school campus. Volunteer to be part of a local tree-planting effort," said Amy Seiler, western Nebraska community forestry specialist for the Nebraska Forest Service.
If you're unable to plant a tree in your community, take some time and explore your local community forest, she added. Springtime brings many beautiful flowering trees like redbud, magnolia, serviceberry and fruit trees.
Trees are also a great way to commemorate special events or to honor the memory of loved ones.
When properly planted and cared for, trees live for many years and significantly reduce energy costs, beautify the landscape, attract wildlife and improve the environment, making them the perfect long-term investment.
"All of these opportunities allow you to spend time with family or friends and continue the legacy of tree planting in Nebraska," said Seiler.
After planting, visit retreenebraska.unl.edu so your tree can be counted toward ReTree Nebraska's goal of planting 1 million trees in Nebraska communities by 2017. ReTree Nebraska is a cooperative effort of the Nebraska Forest Service, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, Inc., Nebraska Community Forestry Council, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, Nebraska Environmental Trust and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UNL.Jessica Kelling
ReTree Nebraska Coordinator
Nebraska Forest Service
IANR News Service