When you think Arbor Day, images of people working together to plant trees probably come to mind. But with the coronavirus pandemic keeping so many of us inside, National Arbor Day looks a little different this year.
Fortunately, even with tree-planting events canceled and reduced access to the tools needed to plant trees, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Arbor Day from home, while in quarantine.
Read on for answers to all your questions about Arbor Day 2020.
When is Arbor Day 2020?
This year, National Arbor Day is today, Friday, April 24 in the U.S.
Arbor Day always falls on the last Friday in April. And since Earth Day is always April 22, the two holidays are always near each other, meaning April is prime time to honor trees, nature, and planet Earth.
What does Arbor Day celebrate?
National Arbor Day is an annual day of tree appreciation. It's traditionally celebrated with tree-planting events, nature education for children, and more.
Why is Arbor Day important?
Trees are vital to human life — they sequester CO2, give us oxygen to breathe, act as habitats for wildlife, provide shade, they are a renewable resource for products like paper and wood, and so much more. Arbor Day puts a national focus on that, reminding people how important it is to respect trees and nature.
How to Celebrate Arbor Day for Kids
With parents and caregivers around the country homeschooling their children right now, Arbor Day is a good opportunity to teach kids about the importance of trees. Here are a few ways you can entertain your children (as well as yourself) today.
Arbor Day Coloring Sheets and Activity Sheets
The Arbor Day Foundation’s website has a kids section called Carly’s Kids Corner, filled with online games, activities, interactive maps, educational resources, and printable coloring sheets and activity sheets for kids.
Arbor Day Videos for Kids
The internet is filled with free educational videos about Arbor Day. Here are a few:
Arbor Day Crafts for Kids
If you have a backyard, the Arbor Day Foundation suggests doing crafts with items found in nature. Let your kids collect fallen leaves, needles, pine cones, twigs, and more, and encourage them to create art with what they find. Check out our guide to pinecone crafts for kids.
Plant Trees in Your Yard
Planting a tree on your own is a great way to connect with nature and honor Arbor Day. Check if your local nursery is open, and if they are offering contactless pickup and delivery. Additionally, you can order sprouts online from the Arbor Day Foundation Tree Nursery.
For those with a yard, you can order a tree sprout and plant a tree. If you don’t have a yard, Arbor Day is still a great day to introduce some greenery onto your balcony, front stoop, or even on your windowsill by purchasing smaller plants.
Go on a Hike or Nature Walk
If you live near a hiking trail and are feeling well, take your kids on a hike or nature walk, and identify the different kinds of trees as you walk. Of course, make sure to follow all of the recommended social distancing and hygiene measures (such as keeping hands clean and wearing a mask) and avoid any busy areas.
Donate to a Tree-Planting Foundation
Simply planting trees is not enough to ensure they have a positive impact on planet Earth — someone must take good care of the trees. As explained by an Arbor Day Foundation spokesperson in an interview with The Verge, the organization only works with tree-planting partners who take all the steps to do that; for example, each tree-planting partner must provide transparency about their plans to maintain the trees, and respect the land by only planting native tree species.
In honor of Arbor Day, you can make a donation to an organization that plants trees, such as:
- The Arbor Day Foundation (86.78 on Charity Navigator)
- #TeamTrees, a campaign started by YouTuber MrBeast in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation
- Trees Atlanta, an organization that works to address Atlanta's tree loss, protect local forests, and establish new green spaces (99.89 on Charity Navigator).
- Jane Goodall and the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) 1 Trillion Trees Campaign, to help replant and restore trees.
- Trees, Water & People, an organization that aims to help Latin American communities by protecting, conserving, and managing their natural resources (96.30 on Charity Navigator).
Post a Tree, Plant a Tree
In addition to physically planting a tree on your own and donating money to a tree-planting foundation, you can also get trees planted by simply hopping on social media. All you need to do is go outside, snap a photo of a tree, and share it on Twitter — just make sure to include the hashtag #ArborDayAtHome and tag the Arbor Day Foundation (@arborday). Then Salesforce, who the foundation partnered with, will plant a tree in your honor.
The best way to prevent contracting or spreading coronavirus is with thorough hand washing and social distancing. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit NAMI.org.