Little Blue NRD April 2012 Column
Apr 09, 2012
Spring time is recognized as planting time. Farmers are busy trying to out-guess mother nature on the last possible freeze. Gardeners are pushing forward with planting trying to get the first harvest of vegetables on the table before the neighbor. But there are two dates that standout in the month of April that reflect back to conservation, big or small: Earth Day April 22 and Arbor Day April 27 (last Friday in April).
Let us take a closer look at Earth Day and Arbor Day.
In 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin promoted this belief by creating the first Earth Day. On April 22, 1970, approximately 20 million people nationwide attended the first Earth Day celebrations, bringing to light the fact that this planet's resources are finite and will not last forever. The day was meant as a catalyst of our responsibility to preserve and protect Mother Earth. From the destruction or depletion of natural resources.
Just travel south central Nebraska and you will find more and more trees and grassland being eliminated for cropland development. Progress is good and making a living is a top priority, but we can also think about establishing proper windbreaks and grass plots for environmental and wildlife sustainability. Properly placed trees around farmsteads and fields help to cut down on fuel costs, protect crops from wind, reduces erosion and creates some habitat.
Earth Day raises an awareness. Especially in times of increasing populations, demands of our natural resources will climb. We should celebrate Earth Day to remind us to conserve natural resources for future use. Earth Day is very important because it encourages us to "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" our natural resources!
Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives. As a formal holiday, it was first observed in 1872, in Nebraska. The founder of Arbor Day was among the pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory, Julius Sterling Morton from Detroit. He and his wife were lovers of nature and the homestead they built in Nebraska was quickly planted to trees, shrubs and flowers. The territory was referred to as a treeless plain when they arrived.
Morton was a journalist and soon became editor of Nebraska's first newspaper. With that forum he spread agricultural information and his love for trees to a receptive audience. And in 1872, the State Board of Agriculture accepted a resolution by Mr. Morton to set aside one day each year to plant trees, both forest and fruit.
"Each generation takes the earth as trustees," stated J. Sterling Morton. With Morton's vision, we need to keep passing the torch to our children. It's our responsibility to teach kids what they need to know to preserve the planet, not just on these two days but every day. First and foremost, kids learn by example. They need to see how protecting and preserving the Earth is important to us, not just by words but by actions. Don't take a backseat in keeping Mother Earth clean or planting trees, be the driver.