To showcase the importance of the trees that live around us, The Morton Arboretum is asking Chicagoans to “draw attention to trees” during its third-annual Arbor Day Celebration, which will take place at Daley Plaza this year. From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, April 28, Chicagoans are invited to help color a four-sided, 8-foot-high by 16-foot wide display illustrating the many reasons why we need trees in our cities and lives. While there, visitors can stop by a “pop-up” Plant Clinic, where Arboretum experts will be on-hand to answer tree and plant questions, or receive a free tree while supplies last.
On display throughout the day, the 8’ x 16’ square installation is designed to highlight trees’ existence in several different environments from urban to suburban, rural to wild. Depicting various tree species, distinctive leaf shapes and wildlife that depend on trees for survival as well as diagrams that look at the biology of trees and how they grow, and tips to care for trees, the display will encourage passersby to not only enjoy a moment of coloring, but to learn about the many ways trees contribute to our ecosystem.
“Through our Arbor Day celebration and coloring display, we quite literally want to draw people’s attention to the trees they walk past every day,” said Nicole Cavender, vice president of science and conservation at The Morton Arboretum. “Countless studies show that trees markedly improve our health and happiness. Through this fun and engaging coloring community event, we are exploring the diversity of trees and encouraging those who join us to be tree champions and show their appreciation for the important role trees play in our world, on Arbor Day and throughout the year.”
The day-long Arbor Day Celebration will feature additional tree-themed activities and giveaways, while tree care company Bartlett Tree Experts will distribute a limited number of saplings to visitors.
In addition to the Arbor Day Celebration and Pop-Up Plant Clinic, Arbor Day events will take place at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, April 23 through April 30.
150 N. Michigan Avenue goes green for Arbor Day
In honor of Arbor Day, the slope of the iconic building at 150 N. Michigan avenue will light up green and display the message GO TREES from April 28-30.
Arbor Day and The Morton Arboretum
As part of its mission to plant and save trees, The Morton Arboretum has a unique connection to Arbor Day. To encourage the planting of trees, the first Arbor Day was organized in tree-barren Nebraska in 1872 by Secretary of Agriculture J. Sterling Morton, father of Joy Morton who later founded the Arboretum. The Morton family motto was “Plant Trees,” which inspired Joy Morton, president of the Morton Salt Company in Chicago, to carry on that legacy at his estate in west suburban Lisle, where he established an arboretum, or outdoor museum of trees, in 1922. Today, all 50 states and many countries around the world recognize Arbor Day in honor of trees and their value to us. Arbor Day in Illinois is the last Friday in April, but other states observe Arbor Day on different dates according to their best tree-planting times.