While I’m not all that on board with Earth Day, I do adore Arbor Day and we will be celebrating at my house. Arbor Day falls on April 30th this year – although state and international Arbor Day celebrations may vary. Following are some ideas about how you and the family can celebrate Arbor Day if you happen to live in PDX (like me).
Arbor Day in Portland, Oregon:
Oregon is a big time tree hugging state. In fact, the Oregon State Legislature designates one entire week, known as Arbor Week, to celebrate as opposed to a single day. The Oregon Revised Statutes related to Arbor Day in schools reads:
The first full week in April shall be known as Arbor Week. In order that pupils in the public schools shall be made better aware of the benefits of the preservation and perpetuation of forests and the growing of timber and of the environment, the district school board shall cause to be conducted, during school hours, activities which tend to encourage the planting, protection and preservation of trees and shrubs and a greater understanding of the environment and means for preserving and improving it.
Of course the first full week of April has passed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate trees on the official national Arbor Day or any day for that matter.
My son Cedar will be with myself and boyfriend Dave on Arbor Day but Dave’s daughters will be with their mom so we’re celebrating early with a weekend outing to the World Forestry Center. The Forestry Center is way fun and always features facts and educational exhibits about trees and forests plus a special exhibit. Right now their special exhibit is The Chocolate Story, which takes visitors on an educational and fun journey about chocolate. Most kids don’t realize that chocolate comes from trees so this is an extra fun event.
I’d like to plant some trees this year too – but I might just do that on the official Arbor Day with Cedar. If the World Forestry Center doesn’t sound exactly like what you want to do there are other ways to celebrate…
- The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) publishes a variety of tree brochures available to the public for free, all of which can help educate you on tree and forest facts specifically related to Oregon.
- Download the excellent “Oregon Homeowner’s Guide to Tree Care” (pdf) or if you don’t like Adobe you can write for this guide at – ODF Public Affairs, 2600 State Street, Salem, OR 97310.
- Friends of Trees is a local organization with a green-minded mission – to bring people in the Portland-Vancouver metro area together to plant and care for city trees and green spaces. They’ve done a great job too. Since 1989, the organization has locally planted more than 385,000 trees and native plants. Friends of Trees offers a Neighborhood Trees program, a Green Space Initiative and more that you can get involved with as well as many special April events. trained crew leaders guide volunteers at weekend events to restore natural areas and green spaces between freeways and neighborhoods.
- Visit the NE Ainsworth Linear Arboretum. This arboretum is unique among U.S. arboretums because it spans actual city blocks and is composed of street and yard trees. In the arboretum you can view 60 different species of city trees within walking or bicycling distance of each other.
- Check out the Portland Parks & Recreation website to locate many excellent natural areas to visit. You and the family can plan a fun nature walk! Or download one of many awesome tree walks available throughout the city.
- For the first time ever, the Arbor Day Foundation is making their awesome Celebrate Arbor Day guidebook (pdf) available to everyone for free. This guide takes a bit of time to download but it’s worth it. The guide features a smorgasbord of possibilities and ideas related to Arbor Day celebrations. If you can’t find a way to celebrate with this guide, I’m not sure you will.
Coming up: ideas about how to celebrate Arbor Day no matter where you live.
Are you in PDX? Did you already celebrate Arbor Day during the first week or do you have plans to celebrate on the official Arbor Day (April 30th)?
[Portland Oregon images taken by Cedar]