MIDDLETOWN URBAN FORESTRY COMMISSION PRESENTS "ARBOR DAY 2021" ON FRIDAY, APRIL 30TH AT THE MIDDLESEX COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY AT 151 MAIN STREET AT 2 P.M.
Happy Arbor Day, Friday, April 30th!
What is Arbor Day and how did it start?
"Its purpose is to encourage people to plant trees, and many communities traditionally take the opportunity to organize tree-planting and litter-collecting events on or around the holiday," according to the Old Farmer's Almanac article "Arbor Day 2021: Learn Why We Celebrate Arbor Day-And Plant A Tree!
How did Arbor Day begin? It came about through Nebraska resident Julius Sterling Morton. After he was married, he moved to Nebraska with his wife where they bought 160 acres of treeless farmland and made it their home. There he planted thousands of trees such as an apple orchard, peach, plum, pear, and more noted the Old Farmer's Almanac's article.
Morton was an American politician and journalist. As Editor of the Nebraska City News, he wrote articles about agriculture and he urged his readers to plant trees. Morton believed that trees had a purpose such as effective windbreaks, protects crops from erosion and overexposure to the sun, according to Britannica.com's article "Arbor Day."
Morton wrote "Other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future."
April 10, 1872 was when the first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska. In 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska. Twenty years later Arbor Day was recognized in every state except Delaware which eventually celebrated Arbor Day. In 1970, President Richard Nixon recognized Arbor Day nationally & declared the last Friday in April will be Arbor Day.
Birdsey Grant Northrop of Connecticut was also an advocate for trees and Arbor Day. His contributions were the involvement of school children in this event and he also turned Arbor Day into a ceremonial event "...that laid the foundation of this now well-established tradition," according to the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection website. Mr. Northrop was the Secretary for the Connecticut Board of Education. He went to Europe to study schools. As a result of this trip, he wrote a report in 1879 "Forestry In Europe" which the Connecticut State Board of Agriculture took note of. Due to this report the Board of Agriculture "...requested an investigation and report on promoting forestry in Connecticut. As a result of this investigation, the State Legislature declared in 1886 that "The Governor shall annually, in the spring, designate by official proclamation an Arbor Day, to be observed in the schools and for economic tree planting," according to the CT DEEP website.
The first Arbor Day in Connecticut was on April 29, 1887. Connecticut held Arbor Day festivities every year since then and occurred between the first week of April & the second week of May noted the CT DEEP website. But when President Nixon formally declared that Arbor Day Celebrations be held the last Friday in April Connecticut followed his lead according to the CT DEEP website.
The City of Middletown Urban Forestry Commission will be presenting a program on Arbor Day, on Friday, April 30th at the Middlesex County Historical Society at 151 Main Street in Middletown at 2 p.m. Mayor Benjamin Florsheim will issue an Arbor Day Proclamation. There will be a Tree Dedication ceremony for Middletown's Connecticut Legislative Delegation which includes Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, State Senator Matthew Lesser, State Representative Brandon Chafee, State Representative Quentin Phipps, former State Representative Joseph Serra & Executive Director for the Jonah Center John Hall. Jane Harris, the Chairperson of the Urban Forestry Commission and Jesse Nasta, the Executive Director of the Middlesex County Historical Society will also speak.
Middletown will be receiving a "Tree City USA" award for the 31st year from the National Arbor Day Foundation and it will be presented by Ms. Danica Doroski, the Urban Forestry Coordinator from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
If you attend this event, please enter through the Spear Park gate to access the back-lawn area. Most importantly please wear a mask and follow the social distancing guidelines by remaining six feet apart. Please continue to do your part to help flatten the curve due to the COVID-19 pandemic and if you have not done so already please get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
For more information about the Arbor Day event in Middletown please call 860-638-3500 ext. 3506. For more information about Arbor Day please see the following websites:
Again, Happy Arbor Day!
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