The first Arbor Day was held in Nebraska on April 10, 1872, thanks the hard work and dedication of J. Sterling Morton. It was estimated that more than 1,000,000 trees were planted on that day! You can read all about the history of Arbor Day here.
The idea quickly spread to other states and nations. Although there were newspaper accounts of Arbor Day tree plantings in Oklahoma Territory as early as 1890, Arbor Day was first observed “officially” in 1901. The Territorial Legislature proclaimed that it would be the duty and responsibility of the School Children to Celebrate Arbor Day in perpetuity.
In March 1982, Oklahoma declared a full “Arbor Week” to better recognize the value of tree planting as well as to avoid the harsh planting conditions of late winter. Oklahoma’s Arbor Week is the last full week in March. National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April.
"Other holidays repose upon the past. Arbor Day proposes for the future.” J. Sterling Morton
For ideas and help with your Arbor Day / Arbor Week Celebration, contact OFS at (405) 522-6158 or by email.
Additional resources are available from the following links:
Arbor Day classroom activities can be found at the National Arbor Day Foundation.
How to select and plant trees click here Oklahoma Proven species can be found here
A great classroom activity incorporating STEM can be found here!
Here are some awesome tree related smartphone apps!
The Arbor Day Tree ID Guide app through iTunes can be found here
Virginia Tech Tree Identification brings the award winning Virginia Tech digital dendrology material to your Android smart phone!
Leafsnap is a an electronic field guide app to help ID trees
TreeBook is a guide to 100 of the most common trees in North America
Create your own tree trail with the Every Trail app!
The Oklahoma Arbor Day Poster Contest will return in 2014! Be looking for the contest theme in the Fall of 2013!