Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day in Your Yard

March 20th may have been the first day of spring, but April is truly the time to celebrate the outdoors and your landscape. There are two holidays this month, Earth Day and Arbor Day, to help us get into the spring season!

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, and was first celebrated in 1970. It is now celebrated in more than 190 countries. Gardening is a huge part of people’s connection to the earth.  Grow a veggie garden this year with easy to grow crops like tomatoes, peppers, squash, lettuce and herbs. It is very satisfying to harvest your own food and eat healthy garden-fresh vegetables.  Plant flowers too, to attract bees and other pollinators that will increase the yield of your food crops. When your crops start to mature, get the most out of the harvest. The more beans, tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers you pick, the more the plants will produce.

Arbor Day is observed on the last Friday in April, which is the 25th this year. According to the official Arbor Day website, it was in Nebraska, on January 4, 1872, that J. Sterling Morton first proposed a holiday for tree-planting. Morton’s proposal was adopted, and the idea of observing such a holiday spread to other states later in the 1870s.

Planting trees reduces our carbon footprint. As trees grow, they help remove carbon dioxide from the air, storing the carbon in the trees and soil and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. They provide cooling shade, block cold winter winds, attract birds and wildlife, purify our air, prevent soil erosion, clean our water, and add beauty to our environment. Start by planting trees around your home. Large deciduous trees planted on the east, west, and northwest sides of your home create soothing shade from the hot summer sun and can reduce summer air conditioning costs by up to 35%. It may take some time for the trees to grow, but there is no better time than now to plant them.

Show your love for the earth and your yard this April by adding a garden and some trees to your yard. In a short time, you will enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come.