Archive for the ‘Arbor Day’ Category

What is Arbor Day?

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Next week on April 24th, 2009 is Arbor Day in the United States. So, what is Arbor Day?

Julius Sterling Morton, a journalist and a politician, founded the first Arbor Day in Nebraska. He long advocated tree-planting because he realized the importance of trees to the local landscape and economy. He was appointed to the state board of agriculture and this is where Arbor Day was born.

Morton proposed designating one day a year to plant trees or to inform others the importance of trees. April 10, 1872 was the very first Arbor Day designated by Morton himself. On this day more than one million trees were planted. The 2nd Arbor Day did not officially take place for another 12 years after it was declared an official state holiday in Nebraska. In the years following other states declared their own Arbor Days. Almost a century went by before President Richard Nixon proclaimed the last Friday in April National Arbor Day in 1970. Since then this is when we celebrate it here in the United States.

In years to follow other countries have joined in. Some call their day and/or week Arbor Day/week, some have a different name for it but all educate about the importance of trees and plant trees during this time.

Trees provide us with oxygen, clean air, shelter, shade, a place to cool off, medicine, food, tools, clean soil. Trees control noise pollution, slow storm water runoff, act as wind breakers. Trees store excess carbon—helping maintain a livable temperature on this planet. Trees are beautiful and increase property values. Trees are home to many species big and small…almost all birds. Trees inspire art, give you the perfect place to read. Children love to climb them. They are invaluable in so many ways.

So. Plant a tree. Plant more than one. It is the least you could do. =)

For more information on what you can do to help or to get involved you can visit the Arbor Day website. If you live outside of the United States you can find out when Arbor Day or something similar is celebrated in your country here.

Stamped Philanthropy

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

I have always enjoyed handwritten correspondence. I like paper, envelopes and stamps. I like the impression left on the paper with the pen filling with ink on the paper. I like the feel of the paper under my hands. I like to post them and I like to receive them. I am always searching for new pretty paper with matching envelopes. I even use holiday paper… I know, I am a geek. =) I also like to pick interesting stamps. I have for many years. I think the flag stamps are boring (patriotic but…boring). I used the Breast Cancer Awareness stamps as default for a long time. Each stamp meant a few more cents towards Breast Cancer research. I am a sucker for a good cause coupled with something I enjoy—like writing letters or sending mail.

I’ve slacked a bit in my writing the past few years. Tsk, tsk. I will try to work on that.  I did order some stamps recently. I had some of the Breast Cancer Awareness stamps and some Edgar Allen Poe stamps (because I love his work) but I wanted to buy a bird stamp (to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day 2009) so I went to the UPSP site and started looking. Here is what I ordered.

The 2004-2005 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp—the Redheads (in my honor hahahaha). It is a $15 stamp but it is not mailable. It is purely for conservation means. The money is donated to the National Wildlife Refuge System to help maintain the 5-million-plus acres of habitat.

2004-2005 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp

2004-2005 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp

Next, I came upon the Alzheimer’s stamp and thought of my dearest friend whose grandfather is struggling with memory issues. Naturally, I ordered them.

Alzheimer Awareness Stamp

Alzheimer Awareness Stamp

And last but not least I got some stamps from my birth state. I will leave you guessing on that one.

I am still in pursuit of some cool new paper but I am simply not finding any. However, I did find this most interesting journal. I ordered it for someone special. It arrived yesterday. It is plantable. Brilliant idea. It is symbolic as well as earth friendly (made with post-consumer recycled paper and plantable!). It is perfect for anyone who needs to grow through some pain. Write it out and plant it.