Kapolei, HI (March 5, 2008)- In 1872, legislation and other legal actions were being sought in the United States to prevent the plundering of the forests. Following J. Sterling Morton’s Arbor Day success of planting one million trees in Nebraska, Conservationists immediately saw its merit and encouraged other states to follow. President Roosevelt officially proclaimed Arbor Day on April 10, 1872. In his proclamation, he declared it a day whereby school children all over the United States might plant trees, sing songs and have recitations appropriate to the occasion. Arbor Day officially came to the Territory of Hawaii in 1905. Then Governor Carter proclaimed November 3, 1905 as Arbor Day and recommended that all public schools participate with part of the day devoted to planting trees and shrubs on school grounds.
95 of the 154 schools in the Territory participated that first year and nearly 3,000 trees were planted. Private schools and citizens also joined in the celebration and planted another 600 trees. 3,554 trees from the government nursery (DOFAW) were given out to schools across all the Islands and $770 was collected to fund $5 prizes to the grades with the best maintained Arbor Day trees planted from the previous year.
For more information, visit Friends of Hawaii’s Urban Forest.