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AZUSA RECEIVES 15TH CONSECUTIVE TREE CITY DESIGNATION



Arbor Day Group

The City of Azusa has been named a Tree City USA for the 15th straight year in national recognition for its commitment to Urban Forestry. The Tree City USA Program is sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Forestry and the USDA Forest Service.

The City of Azusa met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community by having a city department dedicated to urban forestry, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance.

WHAT IS ARBOR DAY?



Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. As a formal holiday, it was first observed in 1872, in Nebraska, but tree planting festivals are as old as civilization. The tree has appeared throughout history and literature as the symbol of life.

The idea for Arbor Day in the United States originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Among the pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854 was Julius Sterling Morton from Detroit.

Morton was a journalist and soon became editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper. Given that forum, he spread agricultural information and his enthusiasm for trees to a receptive audience. His fellow pioneers missed their trees and needed them for windbreaks, fuel, building materials and shade from the hot prairie sun. A visit to Nebraska today wouldn’t disclose that the state was once a treeless plain, yet it was the lack of trees there that led to the founding of Arbor Day in the 1800s.

Morton wrote and spoke about environmental stewardship and the interrelatedness of life. He encouraged everyone to set aside a specific day to plant trees. In 1872, the State Board of Agriculture accepted a resolution by J. Sterling Morton “to set aside one day to plant trees, both forest and fruit.” The Board declared April 10 Arbor Day and offered prizes to the counties and individuals that properly planted the largest number of trees on that day.

More than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. With this first tree planting holiday observance, J. Sterling Morton became known as the “Founder of Arbor Day.”