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Front Page » April 22, 2008 » Local News » Kids get down and dirty for Arbor Day
Published 2,375 days ago

Kids get down and dirty for Arbor Day


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By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate community editor


Bruin Point students get down and dirty to celebrate Arbor Day.

On April 18 students from Bruin Point Elementary helped the community of East Carbon celebrate Arbor Day with the planting of a flowering peach tree on the south end of city hall.

The tree was one of three flowering peaches planted around the city, one more at city hall and another within the municipality's Viking Park.

The trees were purchased from Oregon Acres with grant monies obtained from the Department of Natural Resources and matched with city funds.

The celebration was East Carbon's second such event and was made possible by the city's Vista Volunteers including JuDee Zachreson, Sissy Manzanares, Lisa Miller, Lucy Upmeyer.

Providing entertainment for the event were the Bear Paw Fiddlers from Bruin Point Elementary. The musical ensemble was lead by music teacher Ruthan Long. The young fiddlers played "Boil them Cabbage Down," and were led by Steven Cox, Samantha Paraday and Krystel Hepworth.

When the music was done all students in attendance were allowed to get the hands dirty, as well organized shovels and hoes quickly gave way to tiny little hands plowing though the soil.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the idea for Arbor Day originally came from Nebraska. A visit to Nebraska today wouldn't disclose that the state was once a treeless plain. Yet it was the lack of trees there that led to the founding of Arbor Day in the 1800's

Among pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854 was J. Sterling Morton from Detroit. He and his wife were lovers of nature and the home they established in Nebraska was quickly planted with trees shrubs and flowers.

Morton not only advocated tree planting by individuals in his articles and editorials, as he worked for Nebraska's first newspaper, but he also encouraged civic organizations and groups to join in. His prominence in the area increased and he became secretary of the Nebraska Territory, which provided another opportunity to stress the value of trees.

City maintenance employee Cody Valdez aids Bruin Point students in planting a tree for Arbor Day.

On January 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree-planting holiday to be called Arbor Day at a meeting of the state board of agriculture. The date was April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for planting properly the largest number of trees on that day.

It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

During the 1870's other states passed legislation as Nebraska had making Arbor Day a national holiday by 1882.

Today the most common date for the state observances is the last Friday in April and several United States Presidents have proclaimed a national Arbor Day on that date. But a number of states Arbor Days are at other times to coincide with the best tree planting weather, from January and February in the South and May in the far North.

Arbor Day has now spread beyond the United States and is observed in many countries of the world.

Historical information for this article was obtained via the Internet at www.arborday.org.



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