It was a Nebraska newspaper editor, J. Sterling Morton, who is credited with founding Arbor Day. According to www.arborday.org, Morton “had an enthusiasm for trees and advocated strongly for individuals and civic groups to plant them.
“Once he became secretary of the Nebraska Territory, he further spread his message of the value of trees. And on Jan. 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree planting holiday to be called Arbor Day at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture.”
The celebration date was set for April 10, 1872, and it was estimated that more than 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. Today, Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states.
Monday, the Bryan Tree Commission marked the importance of Arbor Day with a tree planting in Moore Park. Bryan Tree Commissioners, Bryan Arborist Cort Goshia, Mayor Carrie Schlade and Ben Dominique from the Bryan Parks and Recreation Department gathered to plant a purple prince flowering crabapple in Moore Park in recognition of Arbor Day, which is Friday, April 30.
Every year the Bryan Tree Commission partners with the Williams Soil and Water Conservation District to provide tree seedlings to every elementary student in Bryan. Tree bagging will be done at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at MacDonald–Ruff Ice Arena, 601 Townline Road.
Each year, every Bryan student from kindergarten through fifth grade receives and is encouraged to plant a tree, city Tree Commissioner Paul Kline said.
“We lose so many from storms and people cutting them down. It’s important to replace them,” Kline said. “Trees give us so much; If you’re feeling depressed you can just walk out into the woods and it lifts your spirits up.
“That’s why it’s important to get the kids involved as soon as possible,” she said.
Kline noted that her son received a tree when he was in elementary school and planted it in the front yard. “And now he’s 46 years old,” she said with a laugh.
Everyone in the community is invited to help individually bag more than 1,100 tree seedlings for students for Arbor Day, Kline added.