Photos: Diane Macrides
On Friday, April 29, the Garden Club of Long Beach Island celebrated Arbor Day by planting a tree at the First Methodist Church in Beach Haven Gardens. A brief ceremony from President Michele Farias was held as the tree was dedicated.
“Arbor day is a day to celebrate the planting of trees. We owe this special day to J. Sterling Morton, who traveled west to Nebraska in the mid-1800s and missed the beauty of trees in that vast barren territory. When he became the Secretary of Nebraska territory, he used his position to advocate for the value of trees. In 1872, he proposed Arbor Day. It is estimated that more than 1 million trees were planted on that first Arbor Day. Ten years later, in 1882, tree planting became part of the curriculum in schools and around the country. School children learned the importance of trees and each received a tree to plant in their own yard.
In 1970, Arbor Day became a national holiday. Arbor Day has come to represent hope for the future around the world. Hundreds of millions of trees have been planted on Arbor Day. The simple act of planting a tree represents a belief that the tree will grow to provide clean air, windbreak to keep soil in place, building materials, clean water, cool shade, wildlife habitat, healthy communities and natural beauty for a better tomorrow. Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of April and Americans spend the day planting trees to educate everyone about the importance of trees for humanity to flourish. Trees have long connected us with nature, but today it may seem like we lost the spirit that inspired Arbor Day. We seem to take the simple beauty of trees for granted. A single tree can produce 1 ton of oxygen over its lifetime. Arbor Day was born from the love of nature and desire to grow something useful and beautiful for future generations.
May this tree we plant today inspire others to plant a tree – especially here in Long Beach Island. Maybe we can turn some of our stones, pavers and asphalt into rows of trees for a healthier Long Beach Island.
Thank you for coming today to help the Garden Club of Long Beach Island celebrate Arbor Day by planting this crêpe myrtle tree at the First United Methodist Church where our club holds its monthly meetings.
A special thank you to Pastor Scott for joining us today and accepting this tree for the First United Methodist Church, Swell Landscapes for planting the tree and to the members of the Garden Club of Long Beach Island who came today to celebrate Arbor Day with this planting.”