Monday, April 5, 2010


April is a big month for environmentally focused organizations. We've got Earth Day on Friday, April 22 and National Arbor Day closing out the month on the 30th. As you can imagine, Casey Trees is especially sweet on Arbor Day. My friend likens the entire month to being our Fashion Week. I kinda like that comparison.

Arbor Day did not start off small like other movements. In 1872, J. Sterling Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for the planting of trees. The first holiday was observed with the planting of one million trees in Nebraska. For over 135 years, governments, organizations, businesses and individuals have kept this tradition alive by adding to the tree canopy in their communities on National Arbor Day and on different dates adopted by individual states to coincide with that area's best tree-planting times.

In the District, Casey Trees is one of several organizations that adds to the City's tree canopy - with the help of countless volunteers - not just on Arbor Day but throughout the year. One way that Casey Trees encourages people to add and care for trees in the District is by helping them to remember that some of our most special memories revolve around trees.

We climb them as kids, steal kisses and picnic under their shade, get married under them, plant them to commemorate births, graduations and the passing of loved ones, smile when they bloom, watch birds nest in and squirrels scurry up them, and hide under them when a storm sneaks up on us.

These special memories are exactly why we created the Trees of Note program, an interactive feature of the Casey Trees Map that helps connect people to trees in the District deemed special because of their size, history and/or personal significance. The category names for each are Big Trees, Witness Trees and My Trees respectively.

In the weeks leading up to Arbor Day, Casey Trees staff will be profiling trees located in the District that have personal meaning to them. The reasons may be simple or grand but no matter the basis it shows that each tree is significant to someone and deserves to be be cared for and protected.

I hope these stories will encourage you to add your own Trees of Note to the Casey Trees Map. You can share as little or as much about the tree as you can or know. You can also add a photo of the tree. Have fun with it.

By taking a few simple minutes to tell us about your favorite trees in DC you are helping to draw attention to and appreciation for our great natural resource in the City - our trees. Then when you have a spare weekend locate some Trees of Note on the Casey Trees Map and bike, walk, run or drive to them. Make a day of it. You will not only discover impressive trees but neighborhoods you have never ventured to before.

And for those that nominate a Tree of Note to the Casey Trees Map by this upcoming Arbor Day (Friday, April 30, 2010) you will be entered to win an autographed copy of the wonderful City of Trees book authored by Melanie Choukas-Bradley. Each nominated tree is an entry and there will be several winners so enter often.

**The featured picture is of a Black Walnut on Mount Pleasant Street nominated as a Big Tree.

Happy nominating and tree planting!

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