J. Sterling Morton, who recognized the importance of trees, dreamed of designating a day, an Arbor Day, to plant trees all over the State of Nebraska. In 1872, his dream came true. Highly publicized, the annual event caught on and was celebrated throughout the United States and Canada by the turn of the century. Although the date was different from Province to Province and from State to State due to varying climates, the spirit and goal of Arbor Day remained the same.
In Edmonton, Arbor Day is celebrated at the beginning of May. Every year, Terra Landscaping Ltd., representing organizations such as LANTA and ISA, celebrates Arbor Day. Keeping with the spirit of J. Sterling Morton, the Arbor Day celebrations take place in various schools. One week before the event, the children from these schools are taught the benefits of trees. On Arbor Day, the children participate in the celebration, consisting of speeches, poems, and, thanks to corporate sponsorship, the planting of a large tree. At the end of the celebration, each child is presented with a seedling, including information outlining where to plant it and how to care for it.
For Arbor Day 1999, as a member of the ISA Edmonton Chapter and in conjunction with the City of Edmonton, Terra Landscaping Ltd. participated in a more public celebration where proper tree maintenance practices were emphasized. Taking place in a public park, the celebration included tree climbing demonstrations, the planting of a large elm, and five educational stations including an arboriculture tool display, pruning demonstrations, and a nature walk. The hit of the day was the Kid’s Climb, where children had an opportunity to climb trees using harnesses. One week prior to the event, the grade one students from the six participating schools were briefed on safety measures and were given a Lodgepole Pine seedling.
Terra Landscaping Ltd. believes that this educational day was a great success and is looking forward to participating in this type of project again in the years to come.