Pattanaphong Khuankaew, Getty Images
Pattanaphong Khuankaew, Getty Images

Arbor Day is celebrated across the United States in April of each year.  But due to COVID modifications and restrictions, many places are changing the date of their community "celebration of trees" to a different time.

The City of Oneonta, a Tree City USA city for more than 35 years, will be planting a tree on Monday, August 30, at 8:30 am in Neahwa Park near the caboose.  The event is typically held in April each year but was postponed due to COVID precautions.  All are welcome to attend this annual celebration.

Did you know the roots of a national Arbor Day celebration can be traced back to Upstate New York?  In fact to Adams, N.Y., which is about an hour north of Syracuse.

J. Sterling Morton was born in Adams.  He always had a fascination for trees and nature and carried that with him his whole life.  He eventually became a very successful and very wealthy man.  He rose through positions of power and influence and eventually ended up serving as the United States Secretary of Agriculture in the Cleveland and McKinley presidential administrations.  He was also a governor of the Nebraska Territory before it became a state.

His son, Joy, founded the familiar Morton Salt Company.

Morton made his life and career in Nebraska where he built a mansion that replicated the White House.  Always a believer in the positive power of nature and trees, he planted hundreds of them around his home and encouraged everyone to do the same.  From this came Arbor Day.

On the first official Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, more than one million trees were planted in the state of Nebraska.

All thanks to J. Sterling Morton, who was born just north of us in Upstate New York!

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