Woodcraft Gives Arbor Day and Earth Day Organizers a “High Five”

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Maintaining a healthy tree population worldwide is the primary goal of the Arbor Day Foundation, and one of many ongoing Earth Day Network programs.

There seems to be a day dedicated to just about everything – including National High Five Day on Thursday, April 18. Although the High Five hand gesture is a congratulatory or celebratory greeting between two people, Woodcraft is borrowing it to commend two organizations that work year round to promote planting and nurturing trees and a healthier, safer environment.

The National Arbor Day Foundation sponsors National Arbor Day (April 26, 2019) to celebrate the importance of trees for people and the environment. The Earth Day Network (EDN) sponsors Earth Day worldwide (April 22, 2019) to publicize environmental issues that need addressed.

“Woodcraft applauds the Arbor Day Foundation and the Earth Day Network for keeping issues affecting trees, as well as the whole environment, publicized and promoted. Since Woodcraft serves woodworkers, who use wood to create everything from furniture to pepper mills, the company is eager to support efforts to maintain a healthy tree population,” Woodcraft President/Chief Executive Officer Jack Bigger said.

Protecting the world’s tree population

 On March 20, The Arbor Day Foundation  announced its Time for Trees initiative, a commitment to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities worldwide by 2022 – the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day. The Foundation says the initiative will leverage trees as a simple, powerful way to preserve the necessities of life on Earth that are becoming increasingly compromised, as well as reverse the damage done by climate change.

Planting a tree is not just digging a hole, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. You need to select a good planting site, select the right tree, and follow planting instructions for the type of tree you are planting. The Foundation has all the information you need for successful tree planting on its website, www.arborday.org.

"It can be easy to take trees for granted, but they are absolutely critical to maintaining balance on our planet – supporting clean air and water, healthy food and a livable climate," said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. "With an estimated 18 million acres of forests lost globally each year, that balance is being shaken, and the Time for Trees initiative – our organization's largest undertaking to date – will provide a powerful solution." 

The need for an ongoing effort to plant trees was recognized nearly a century and a half ago by J. Sterling Morton, editor of the first newspaper in Nebraska, a treeless plain in the 1850s. In 1872 the Nebraska Board of Agriculture accepted his resolution to set aside a day to plant trees “both forest and fruit,” and set the date for April 10.

Today National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. All 50 states, Puerto Rico and some U.S. Territories have passed laws adopting Arbor Day, which is celebrated on a date appropriate for tree planting in their region.

The annual Arbor Day celebration is just a small part of what the Arbor Day Foundation does all year long. I have taken some information from the group’s website to give readers an idea what is available to help ensure a health tree population.

Community Tree Recovery program was created out of the great need for trees in the wake of natural disasters. Through this program, residents who lost trees in major disasters caused by wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and insects can receive free trees to plant in their yards.

Tree City USA has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. More than 3,400 communities have made the commitment to becoming a Tree City USA. They have achieved Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards.

Tree Campus USA. This program recognizes college and university campuses that:

  • Effectively manage their campus trees.
  • Develop connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests.
  • Strive to engage their student population utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus, and community, forestry efforts.

Tree Campus K-12. This program inspires collaboration between schools, students, and communities to facilitate experiences with trees as a learning tool.

Alliance for Community Trees is composed of community-based organizations dedicated to planting and caring for trees. These passionate nonprofits are the boots on the ground — the purest and best definition of grass roots.

Energy-Saving Trees is designed to provide homeowners with trees they can reserve and plant on their property – getting the right tree in the right place. We do this through an online mapping tool powered by iTree technology that takes the guesswork out of tree planting, by helping identify the ideal location for energy savings.

TreeLine USA® exists to recognize best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens. The Arbor Day Foundation collaborates with the National Association of State Foresters on this initiative.

Other Programs Around the World include: Corporate Partnerships, Replanting Our Forests, Forestry Carbon Credits, Rain Forest Rescue, Hybrid Hazelnuts, Tree Cities Of The World And Celebrate Arbor Day.

For more information about the Arbor Day Foundation, visit https://www.arborday.org/.

Protecting the Environment

(Image Copyright Earth Day Network 2019)

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, brought together 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement that was followed by the landmark Clean Air ActClean Water ActEndangered Species Act and other groundbreaking environmental laws. The landmark event also led to the Earth Day Network’s founding, with a mission to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Earth Day is now global, mobilizing 200 million people in more than 190 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage.

Earth Day Network has chosen “Protect Our Species” for the 2019 campaign. According an EDN press release, “Studies estimate that we are now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal rate.  Insect populations have decreased by more than 45% worldwide; 40% of the world’s bird species are in decline; beekeepers report annual hive losses of 30% or higher, and the list goes on.” Trees, coral reefs, whales, elephants, plants, fish, sharks, crustaceans, sea turtles, and great apes are also among the species listed that need protection.

Plants need bees to pollinate, making bees indispensable pollinators of most ecosystems. There are 369,000 flowering plant species, and 90% of them are dependent on insect pollination. Many species of animals depend on bees for their survival because their food sources, including nuts, berries and fruits, rely on insect pollination. The global crop production pollinated by bees is valued at $577 billion. (Image Copyright Earth Day Network 2019)

“The good news is that the rate of extinctions can still be slowed, and many of our declining, threatened, and endangered species can still recover if we work together now to build a united global movement of consumers, voters, educators, faith leaders, and scientists to demand immediate action,” says Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network.

EARTH DAY CHALLENGE 2020

Earlier in March, in Nairobi, Kenya, Earth Day Network, the U.S. Department of State through the Eco-Capitals Forum, and the Wilson Center announced the launch of Earth Challenge 2020 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day In 2020.

Earth Challenge 2020 is a global citizen science initiative that shows how small digital acts can add up to global change. Using mobile technology and open, connected citizen science data, EC2020 will get a snapshot of world’s environment and health and empower people around the world to have an impact on future global policy decisions. 

“In 2020 we want to mobilize not only the biggest event action and activism by citizens, but activism with a purpose. That is what EC2020 is all about – activating a global public to collect at least one billion data points to help answer some of the questions still puzzling science – on climate, air quality, water quality and health,” President Rogers said.

There are six core research areas and questions that citizens all around the globe will help answer for EC2020 by collecting data via a mobile application and contributing to large, international research efforts on the health of the planet

  • What is the extent of plastics pollution?
  • What is in my drinking water?
  • What are the local impacts of climate change?
  • How are insect populations changing?
  • How does air quality vary locally?
  • Is my food supply sustainable?

Year-Round Programs

To understand more about the Earth Day Network’s programs, read this paragraph from the group’s website:

Earth Day Network works year-round on projects, programs, and campaigns that support environmental conservation, environmental protection, climate activism and advocacy, and advancing the green economy. 

Our education work focuses on efforts to green schools — from energy efficiency upgrades to improving school food — and supporting educators with resources to teach and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders.

Our conservation and greening efforts include planting trees to reforest environmentally critical areas of the globe and increase the urban tree canopy, and protecting clean air and water.

Our advocacy efforts focus on engaging local leaders and global citizens of all ages and from all walks of life with campaigns: to end plastic pollution, to protect our species, to act on climate and advance clean energy, and more.

(Image Copyright Earth Day Network 2019)

For more information about Earth Day Network, visit https://www.earthday.org/earthday/.

Be part of the solution, not the problem

So, are you planning to celebrate Earth Day and/or Arbor Day? 

Even if your plans don’t include either celebration, I strongly encourage you to learn what the sponsors of these events do, and then select at least one action you can take to help the tree population and/or the environment. Both websites offer a wide range of options for becoming part of the response to coping with the effects of natural disasters and the havoc wrought by pollution and mismanagement by humans.

Help make our world a better habitat for humans, animals, birds, fish … and every living creature!


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