Recently, I came across a beautiful, full evergreen. After a while, I realized I had planted this gorgeous monument when I was five years old, as part of a community project and Arbor Day celebration.
Memories surrounding the tree came flooding back to me. I remembered digging in the clay-like dirt to make a hole for my tree, getting all my clothes dirty. I remembered gingerly placing the sprightly sapling into the hole. I felt a sense of pride because the tree I planted a long time ago was still erect.
I stood there and breathed in the scent of the spruce. This tree that started as a seedling was now taller than me. Looking up at this gentle giant, I noticed the flutter of wings and saw this tree not only for its splendor, but for its new purpose, a home. It had flourished to become a pillar of stability and a resource for humans and wildlife alike.
Trees selflessly give back to the people who plant them, supply them with beauty, clean air, a reduction in stress, and reduced cooling costs. Consider giving back to your community this month by planting a tree for Arbor Day. By making communities greener they become healthier, happier, and more sustainable. To view the benefits of trees in your area, visit the Wisconsin Community Tree Map.
If you’re planning an Arbor Day celebration consider submitting your festivity to CelebrateArborDay.com for inclusion on the interactive national map. Trees provide many intangible values, but the greatest is the way they mark our lives. My life has been marked by the tree I planted over 20 years ago, knowing it is benefiting the community where I grew up and sparking my interest in natural resources through an Arbor Day celebration.
For more information contact Ellen Clark, Urban Forestry Communication Specialist, EllenA.Clark@wisconsin.gov.