Join Friends of GR Parks for a special Arbor Day planting!

Arbor Day is a special day at Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, as it offers our staff a chance to share our love of trees and parks with the Grand Rapids community and know that across the nation other communities are celebrating too. At Friends of GR Parks we count down to Arbor Day, plan for it year round, and relish in it when it finally arrives. For our staff, Arbor Day is grounding and serves as a reminder of all that we aspire to do in our city. This year, Arbor Day is extra special because we are partnering with Mayor Bliss and her Mayor’s Greening Initiative to do even more good.

Although FGRP would enthusiastically celebrate this day no matter its roots, it’s especially dear to Michiganders because Arbor Day originated with Detroit native J. Sterling Morgan. In 1872, Morgan was one of many pioneers who made a new home in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Morgan was keenly aware of the lack of trees, shade, and wind breaks available to homesteaders in Nebraska and devoted much of his free time to preaching the benefits of trees. That same year he submitted a resolution to the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture and the board declared April 10th as Arbor Day. Thus, J. Sterling Morgan quickly became known as the Father of Arbor Day and for decades his birthday, April 22nd, was known as Arbor Day. Now, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of April nationwide and across the globe. To learn more about this history visit the Arbor Day Foundation website.

This year, Arbor Day takes place on Friday April 28th and with the Mayor’s help we will plant over 350 trees in and around Martin Luther King Park. This is a unique opportunity for community members and corporate groups large and small to come together and celebrate spring by giving back. Tools, treats, and training will be provided…all we need are volunteers!

If you are interested in volunteering as a community member, or if you are interested in getting involved as a corporation or organization, click on this link to learn more and register for this exciting Arbor Day planting!

Questions can be directed to Rachel at rachel@friendsofgrparks.org or to FGRP staff at 616-288-7209.



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