This week California observes Arbor Day, created in 1872 by the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture. Celebrating trees is a wonderful thing! California’s observance coincides with the birthday of botanist Luther Burbank.
My Assembly Concurrent Resolution 157, (Waldron) recognizes March 7, 2020 as California Arbor Day, and urges Californians to observe the day with appropriate tree-planting programs and activities. Tree People, California ReLeaf, and the California Urban Forests Council all support ACR 157, which passed the Assembly this week.
Our Legislature first proclaimed California Arbor Day on March 7, 1974 to encourage people to plant trees and organize civic engagement in protecting urban trees. Trees are a valuable economic asset that help maintain and increase property values and attract new businesses to urban areas. By providing shade, they moderate temperature extremes and reduce energy consumption. They also reduce emissions and air pollution and help meet statuary pollution limits by sequestering carbon. Trees remove airborne particulate matter from the atmosphere and help purify our water supplies by reducing surface water runoff, aiding water management and protecting water resources. Trees enhance aesthetic quality of urban areas by functioning as natural barriers for surface noise, and provide essential habitat for wildlife, including birds and many threatened or endangered species.
A recent study by the U.S. Forest Service indicated that our nation’s cities lose around 175,000 acres or 36 million trees each year.
California proudly holds itself as the national leader on climate protections and emission reductions. Planting trees is a simple, but significant step that will improve and enhance our environment, and it’s one we all can take.