The City of St. George loves its trees and each year the city shows how much it loves trees with its Arbor Day Celebration. 

History of Arbor Day 

Arbor Day has been around since 1872 and originated in Nebraska City, NE, and is now celebrated in all 50 states and in other countries around the world. When settlers were moving into the Nebraska territory there was an issue with a lack of trees. Local newspaper editor and resident J. Sterling Morton was a tree enthusiast who advocated for the trees.  

He was the original Lorax way before Dr. Suess was around.  

Later when Morton became secretary of the Nebraska Territory, he proposed the tree-planting holiday to the State Board of Agriculture on Jan. 4, 1872.  

The date for the first-ever Arbor Day was on April 10 of that year and it was a huge success. Residents and counties won prizes for the most planted trees which resulted in over 1 million trees being planted that day.  

Two years later in 1874 Nebraska Gov. Robert. W. Furnas made April 10 Arbor Day and announced it as a legal state holiday. The state later changed the official date to April 22 in 1885. 

Other states picked up the holiday and by 1920 most of the states were in on the day for planting trees. However, not all states have the same Arbor Day celebration, but it's most often held on the last Friday in April.  

How To Celebrate Arbor Day in St. George 

Southern Utah may be a desert but that hasn’t stopped the City of St. George from going all out for 35 consecutive years on taking care of the trees, a city press release said. Each year the city hosts its Arbor Day Celebration and invites the local community to come out and plant trees for a few hours somewhere in town.  

This year the celebration will be held on Saturday, April 29 at J.C. Snow Park from 9 to 11 a.m.  

There will be refreshments provided for volunteers, kids crafts, and shrubbery giveaways at the event. Make sure to bring gardening or working gloves if you plan to participate.  

“We hope to plant between 50 and 75 trees at Snow Park that day, and nearly 500 over the course of the year,” said Shane Moore, Director of the Parks and Community Services Department. “Come plant a tree, beautify an awesome park and make the world a healthier place for ourselves and for our children.” 

The City of St. George has been designated a Tree City USA for the 35th year for maintaining tree ordinances and using funds for the forestry budget. 

“The trees being planted and cared for by St. George are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation, in a press release issued by the foundation. “Additionally, participation in this program brings residents together and creates a sense of civic pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.” 

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