It’s not too late! Although Arbor day occurred yesterday and Earth day was on Monday, it’s not too late to join in on the weekend celebrations for these holidays. Read on to learn more about the history of these days and what celebrations are happening throughout the DC Metro Area this weekend.
History of Earth & Arbor Day:
Arbor Day, a holiday devoted to plant trees, has roots going as far back at 1594; however, the first American Arbor Day occured in Nebraska City on April 10, 1872. J. Sterling Morton was a pioneer in the Nebraska territory when he and his other pioneers noticed they needed more trees for windbreaks to keep the soil in place, for fuel and building materials, and for shade from the Nebraska sun. He proposed a day dedicated to planting trees and by April the day became a reality. During the first American Arbor day it’s estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska. During the 1870 other state passed legislation to celebrate Arbor Day and the tradition began in schools nationwide in 1882.
Almost a century later, the first Earth Day occurred on April 22nd, 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was concerned that an issue so big as our environment wasn’t being paid attention to. In order to change this, he decided to create Earth Day and to launch it on college campus. Senator Nelson recruited Harvard Law School student and environmental activist Denis Hayes to coordinate the events. Even it’s first year was a success with two thousand colleges, ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States holding celebratory events. It now is observed in 192 countries, and is “the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year” according to Denis Hayes.
Earth day and Arbor day have a long history and are commonly celebrated together. The first earth day on April 22nd, 1970 was actually that year’s Arbor day as well. Now that you know a little more about Earth and Arbor day go celebrate with your family at the events below!
Arbor & Earth Day Celebrations
Celebrate Earth & Arbor Day at SpringFest
Saturday, April 27, 2019 10am-4pm
Sully Historic Site – Chantilly, VA
Join Clean Fairfax and the Fairfax County Park Authority for their annual celebration of Earth and Arbor Day. On April 27, 2019, enjoy a festival designed to bring environmental awareness to our community and to help us all be healthier and happier!
In addition to more than 75 vendors, exhibitors, and food trucks, there will be plenty of educational opportunities for children and families. From a run through an environmental obstacle course to the chance to consult with master gardeners — there is something for everyone!
DC Arbor Day Festival
Saturday, April 27, 2019 10am-3pm
Oxon Run Park, DC
Join the Urban Forestry Division and District Department of Transportation’s for DC’s first ever Arbor Day Festival: a celebration of trees and people at Oxon Run Park. This is an all ages event where you can enjoy trees through nature walks and bike rides, tree climbing, explore DC’s largest city park, and relax in the shade with live music and food. Local jazz and gogo band, JoGo Project, will perform at 12pm and food will be available for purchase from local food trucks. And of course, we will be planting many trees – join us at the top of each hour to help plant a new tree.
Falls Church City’s Arbor Day Celebration
Saturday, April 27, 2019 1pm-1:30pm
Berman Park – Falls Church, VA
Join members of the Urban Forestry team, City leaders, and a representative from the Virginia Department of Forestry for a 30 minute celebration on Falls Church being named a Tree City USA for 41 years and counting.
A limited number of the City’s tree of the year – the small Loblolly Pine Trees (Pinus taeda) – will be given away on a first come, first serve basis.
After the ceremony, join VPIS for a Neighborhood Tree Planting from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The City will provide tools, but please wear boots/heavy shoes and clothes that can get dirty and bring a pair of gloves. Please RSVP with Seth Heminway at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandria’s Earth Day
Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Lenny Harris Memorial Fields at Braddock Park – Alexandria, VA
Celebrate the 26th Annual Alexandria Earth Day with educational exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages. Youth will have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, creativity and commitment to the environment through this year’s theme “Climate Change – Take Action.” Additional activities include Arbor Day tree planting, the Ellen Pickering Award and food sales. The event will be held at the Lenny Harris Memorial Fields at Braddock Park, adjacent to George Washington Middle School.
Fairfax City Earth Day
Sunday April 28th, 2019 10am-12pm
Daniels Run Trail – Fairfax, VA
Help us celebrate Earth Day! We will be cleaning up Daniels Run Trail, creating bird feeders from recyclable products, learning about waste reduction and recycling from the City’s Environmental Sustainability Group, and more! Parents or guardians are required to attend with kids. This event is FREE and all ages are welcome! Parking is available at Daniels Run Elementary School
Let us know how you celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Day this weekend!