Vancouver, along with the State of Washington, celebrates Arbor Day on the second Wednesday in April.
This year Vancouver celebrates 26 years as a Tree City USA, a national program that recognizes cities for their excellence in urban forestry.
Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and tree care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton, National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April. Today, all 50 states and many Canadian provinces celebrate this holiday every spring, although the actual date of Arbor Day varies from state-to-state due to differences in climate.
The first Arbor Day was celebrated in the state of Nebraska in 1872, in response to a state proclamation urging settlers and homesteaders in that prairie state to plant trees that would provide shade, shelter, fruit, fuel, and beauty for residents of the largely treeless plains. On that first Arbor Day, more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska's communities and on its farms. The Arbor Day idea was promoted by J. Sterling Morton, editor of the Nebraska City News, who later helped the idea spread to neighboring states and eventually to all of the United States and many other nations.
Vancouver has been annually recognized as a Tree City USA since 1989. Tree City USA is a community improvement program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities. Tree City USA is designed to recognize communities that effectively manage their urban forest and meet the four Tree City USA standards. Vancouver has continually been selected for this national recognition for effectively managing our urban trees as a valuable natural resource. Maintaining this national status shows that the city and its residents recognize that urban trees are closely linked to quality of life and are actively working to preserve and enhance the urban forest.
For more information about Arbor Day and Tree City USA visit the National Arbor Day Foundation website.