06 Mar 2022

Arbor Day takes place in April, and for some people, it is simply a fun way to change up your Friday routine. However, for non-profit companies like the Friends of Grand Rapids and Our City Forest, it is a lifestyle.

These non-profit organizations in Michigan and San Jose have made the protection of trees their lives work, and Arbor Day is a chance for more people to get involved in the issue.

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This is the one day of the year where these organizations, as well as many others, can share their enthusiasm for trees with other people and expand public knowledge of the issue that concerns so much of their time. 

From planting new trees to caring for older plants, there is a lot of work that goes into maintaining woodlands across the United States, and Arbor Day is your chance to do something great for the planet.

What Is Arbor Day?

Arbor Day is a holiday that takes place in April and is focused on promoting healthy tree planting.

With all of the other environmental issues, you could get involved in, you may be considering why trees require their own holiday. Trees are something we all recognize as a vital part of the environment, but that does not mean that the greater public is aware of all the issues surrounding this particular life force.

On Arbor Day, people across the country are encouraged to take action by either planting trees or working towards supporting the health of existing woodlands in their areas. 

Trees are incredibly important, not just to the ecosystem and overall environment but also to human health. There are many ways that these plants can improve our lives, but you may not have given it much thought.

Trees are useful in all kinds of circumstances as they:

  • Help clean air
  • Contribute to the good health of humans, animals, and other plants
  • Release oxygen 
  • Help to provide healthy drinking water
  • Provide much-needed cooling to the environment
  • Help to save energy
  • Can increase property values
  • Support various wildlife forms

With this knowledge, the work of the Friends of Grand Rapids Park and Our City Forest make more sense. Trees are incredibly important to humans, wildlife, and the environment, which is what Arbor Day is all about.

These companies have already done their part when it comes to protecting and planting trees. Arbor Day gives others a chance to get involved too. 

About The Friends of Grand Rapids Park

The Friends of Grand Rapids Park was founded in 2008 as an initiative to protect, enhance, and expand trees in the city parks and public spaces. 

This is an independent, citizen-led, non-profit enterprise that is focused on creating specific park projects and mobilizing people to take care of their local environments. The initiative works to expand green spaces in the city, such as working in parks and other public areas, due to the benefits that trees can bring for both human health and wellbeing as well as local wildlife.

In association with the City of Grand Rapids and the Friends of Grand Rapids Park, the Grand Rapids Urban Forest Project was launched in 2011.

This project was launched as an effort to engage the wider community in developing a large and healthy urban forest as well as offering education on the value of trees. 

While this project works throughout the year, Arbor Day is a chance for the initiative to ramp up its efforts and reach more people. According to Margret Studer, the director of the Urban Forest Project, preparation for Arbor Day feels like New Year’s Eve.

She claims that Arbor Day is one of the biggest of the year for the project as it is a chance for it to share its work with residents. The Urban Forest Project is committed to the forest and to planting trees for the benefit of residents. Arbor Day gives the team a chance to share their work with many others and to spread awareness.

Efforts are ramped up on Arbor Day, as on previous holidays, the Urban Forest Project planted 150 trees in the local area and connected with hundreds of residents.

About Our City Forest

Our City Forest was established in 1994 and continues to be the leading environmental non-profit in San Jose today.

This initiative aims to cultivate a healthy and green Silicon Valley by working with community members and educating locals on the value of trees. Their work aims to educate people on the protection of trees as well as share appreciation for forests as a way to encourage them to be interested in maintaining the urban ecosystem.

Arbor Day marks the busiest period for Our City Forest as it increase its efforts to comply with the holiday.

To honor this holiday, Our City Forest, along with its 65 volunteers, work on some of its biggest projects to date. In the past, the team has worked to complete a two-phase, 40 tree planting initiative at Kelley Park, located near the Happy Hollow Zoo in San Jose.

The team also likes to mark the event publicly, which is why many of their Arbor Day efforts are followed by ceremonies where city council members and other local people of importance come together. 

Both Our City Forest and the Friends of Grand Rapids Park rely on volunteers to spread their message and get the work done.