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Two Arbor Day tree planting events set

ELKINS — The public is invited to a pair of tree planting events Friday.

The City of Elkins Tree Board and the Emma Scott Garden Club will be celebrating Arbor Day Friday with two tree plantings at city parks in Elkins.

The Tree Board will have its event at Glendale Park near the newly established Outdoor Education Groves beginning at 2 p.m.

Representatives from the Tree Board, West Virginia Division of Forestry and Elkins Mayor Jerry Marco will be participating.

The Emma Scott Garden Club will be planting a tree at the Davis Street Park, located one block from Randolph Avenue, at noon.

Both events will feature the giving away of free tree seedlings and pollinator garden seed packets, thanks to a donation from Project Plant It, a partnership between Dominion Energy and the Arbor Day Foundation, in conjunction with schools, civic organizations, scout troops and other groups that work with students in regions served by Dominion Energy.

Nebraska City, Nebraska, is the official birthplace of the Arbor Day holiday.

As pioneers began moving into the Nebraska Territory, the lack of trees was felt deeply. Nebraska newspaper editor J. Sterling Morton had an enthusiasm for trees and advocated strongly for individuals and civic groups to plant them. On Jan. 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day” at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture.

The celebration date was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for the largest number of properly planted trees on that day. It was estimated that more than 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

By 1920, more than 45 states and territories were celebrating Arbor Day. And the tree planting tradition became prominent in schools across the nation in 1882, with schoolchildren learning about the importance of trees as well as receiving a tree to plant in their own yard.

Today Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states. The most common date for the state observance is the last Friday in April — National Arbor Day.

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