With Arbor Day coming up on April 25th, we have an opportunity to reflect not only on the history of this leafy holiday, but also on how TreePeople unites Angelinos for a greener, more sustainable future. Arbor Day began as a three-day celebration that involved planting trees, dancing, and feasts. Started by a local priest, and with support from the entire community, the very first Arbor Day was held in 1805 in the Spanish village of Villanueva de la Sierra.
For TreePeople, Arbor Day marks an important annual transition – the switch from tree planting to tree care. We put down our shovels and pick up our hoses, to focus on supporting the trees that are already in the ground and need a little extra love over the hot summer months. But before we make the shift to tree care, it’s important to appreciate what TreePeople Green Teams, Volunteer Supervisors, local neighborhoods, and thousands of volunteers achieved during the past tree planting season.
There were many highs and a few lows, with the suspension of planting in the Angeles National Forest and the effects of the drought stronger than ever. But our dedicated supporters continued to see the green-tinted silver lining in even the toughest situations. Citizen Foresters from Long Beach to Eagle Rock hosted plantings in their communities. Through TreePeople’s Citizen Forester Workshop they learned how to host a neighborhood tree planting and put on very successful events with the support of local residents and volunteers.
With the support of parent and teacher appointed Green Teams, schools all across the city were made greener and more sustainable through tree and native plant plantings. At Hubbard Elementary in Sylmar last November, we hit a TreePeople record with a turnout of 170 volunteers, parents, teachers, students, and community members. Much like that first Arbor Day back in 1805, our campus plantings are followed by a meal, a time when those who got their hands dirty transforming the school into a more beautiful and healthy space for all, can revel in their achievement and enjoy each other’s company.
As spring turns to summer, we will continue our Drought Response Park Tree Care events, through which hundreds of trees have already been cared for, and we will share that enthusiasm to support trees on streets and school campuses throughout the city. Check out our calendar to get involved today. This Arbor Day marks the beginning of a tree care season to be reckoned with!