BY BARRY WARNER
Arbor Day is a special day that is set aside throughout the world to raise awareness of trees and the important role that they play in the environment. In most of the United States, Arbor Day is celebrated on the fourth Friday of April. It was first recognized in Nebraska in 1872 and quickly grew to be a national and international day. The day served as an opportunity for children to make the world a better place by learning about the natural world and planting trees.
Arbor Day was marked in Rockland County by arborists such as John Wickes of Wickes/Arborists Tree and Lawn Care. He said, “The Suffern Rotary Club, of which I am a member, is presenting Norway Spruce seedlings to all elementary school children in the Ramapo Central School District. Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders worldwide, who provide humanitarian service and help spread goodwill and peace in the world. In the past 24 years, approximately 72,000 seedlings have been distributed plus the trees can grow 2 to 3 feet per year and rise to a height of 100 feet.”
In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, trees play a significant role in reducing erosion and moderating the climate. They remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store large quantities of carbon in their tissues. Trees and forests provide a habitat for many species of animals and plants, timber for construction plus fuel for heating and cooking.
Many schools took part in Arbor Day activities. Alyson Kim, president of the Suffern High School Interact Club, stated, “Our 20 members prepared plastic bags, wet soil, the Norway Spruce seedlings and instructions for next day distribution. The club, whose motto is ‘service above self’ enables students to join together to tackle important issues in the community.”
“It was important to remind the children on Arbor Day that the earth take cares of us and we are all connected,” said Principal Christine Druss of Viola Elementary School. “It is each one’s responsibility to help the environment stay healthy by planting and caring for the Norway Spruce trees they just received.”
For additional information access www.arborday.org