Park Life Blog

It's Arbor Day!

Every year, Arbor Day is the last friday of April, which means we will be celebrating our trees today!


Arbor Day first originated in 1872 in Nebraska with J. Sterling Morton. A nature-lover and journalist, Morton began to spread the word about the importance of planting trees and keeping the land green in his newspaper. He and his fellow pioneers loved the aesthetic of trees and also knew that they would be necessary to block the sun, keep the soil in its place, and to be used for wood that they needed to continue building their community.

Later in his career, as secretary of the Nebraska Territory, Morton proposed a holiday for planting trees and it was happily approved. It was decided that as part of the celebration, there would be a contest for who could properly plant the greatest amount of trees on the first annual Arbor Day, which was on April 10, 1872. More than 1 million trees were planted on this day! By 1882, Arbor Day was recognized nationwide.

The first Arbor Day was a raging success, so let’s make this one just as great! There’s no better place to spend your Arbor Day than the largest green space in Memphis. Appreciate your trees and spend your April 27 with us at Shelby Farms Park!

Looking for a unique way to celebrate Arbor Day?  Help Shelby Farms Park plant One Million Trees.  Adopt a Tree today or symbolically plant one to honor or remember someone special. 


"Each generation takes the earth as trustees.” -J. Sterling Morton

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