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National Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. It is celebrated on the last Friday in the month of April.

Arbor Day was first observed in 1872 when J. Sterling Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for the planting of trees.  It was called Arbor Day. This first Arbor Day was celebrated with the planting of more than a million trees in Nebraska.   Arbor Day is now observed throughout the nation and worldwide.

Every spring since 2013 Friends of Trees has requested the Chatham Board of Selectmen to proclaim Arbor Day in the Town of Chatham. And every spring since then Friends of Trees has sponsored an Arbor Day Event. Our events have included gifting trees to the Town, sponsoring a reading of “The Lorax” to school children, organizing cleanup days in a Chatham park, and bringing in speakers to make presentations highlighting trees. On April 26, 2019, Chatham’s 7th Arbor Day, Friends of Trees staged an information table at the Community Center and gave away native white oak tree saplings.  In 2020, with the help of volunteers, 100 white oak saplings were planted on town conservation lands and in 2021 300 were planted in an effort to restore the canopy that was lost during the tornadic winds in late July 2019.

Arbor Day celebrations draw attention to the benefits of trees --they can reduce soil erosion caused by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate temperature, clean the air, produce life-giving oxygen and provide wildlife habitat, and trees increase property values and add beauty to the community.