SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES' ON ARBOR DAY AND EARTH DAY
LISLE, IL (April 5, 2010) - With dozens of Chicago-area communities gearing up to celebrate trees and the environment for Arbor Day and Earth Day this month, The Morton Arboretum, which typically assists 80-90 communities each year with such festivities, is gearing up to provide important resources based on its expertise in tree science, and its work to save and plant trees.
The Arboretum website this year will provide lesson plans and other resources for planning Arbor Day classroom, assembly, and outdoor activities. Arboretum experts also created a new booklet for students and others, and will visit schools around the region.
"The lesson plans are designed for teachers to carry out Arbor Day celebrations in their schools, connecting the experience to their curriculum and science learning standards," says Dr. Megan Dunning, Arboretum Head of Education.
This year, the Arboretum and Chicago Bureau of Forestry are teaming up with other members of the Chicago Trees Initiative (CTI) - a collaboration of influential, respected public and private agencies dedicated to planting, conserving and advocating for trees - to provide resources to scores of Chicago public schools.
Using the lesson plans, teachers can lead students in a variety of instructional activities including, for example, the students' own survey of neighborhood trees to deepen their understanding of the urban forest and its benefits, and to learn ways that the students can take part in conservation efforts.
Additionally, students will hear CTI experts, including those from the Arboretum, talk about career opportunities in "green" fields, from forestry to environmental policy to constructing a "green" building. Finally, CTI representatives will take part with students in tree plantings on school property.
Elsewhere around the Chicago region, Arboretum personnel will attend or support school-based events and civic activities such as environmental fairs, tree sales, "tree walks" to identify trees and explain their characteristics, and parades.
The Arboretum has created an informative, new booklet; 15,000 will be available to communities holding Arbor Day events, while supplies last. The booklet includes tree planting instructions, explains why we plant trees, contains activities for children, and retraces the history of Arbor Day. The first 100 booklets are provided free of charge; additional booklets are available in packs of 100 at $10 per pack.
This year's "Arbor Week" starts with Earth Day on April 22nd, runs through Arbor Day April 30 and concludes on Sunday, May 2. The Arboretum has adopted the theme "Every Tree Counts" as a reminder that urban and suburban communities depend upon trees to provide oxygen, filter pollutants from the air, reduce the heat island effect, and provide other vital benefits.
Arbor Day, the nation's oldest environmental holiday, is designed to inspire everyone to make a difference in their communities by planting and protecting trees. All 50 states celebrate Arbor Day, plus Washington D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico and several other countries. Julius Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day; his son, Joy, founded The Morton Arboretum in 1922.
Arbor Week activities at the Arboretum include a return of "the Tree Advocate Astronaut!" Mark Lee, whose view of earth from space prompted him and his son to plant 140,000 trees on his farm. His presentation with video occurs May 2.
During the Green Boutique and Garden Expo April 24-25, eco-friendly companies will showcase remarkable green products.
In the Arboretum Children's Garden, youngsters can plant tree seeds and help decorate a special Arbor Day Tribute Tree, from April 30-May 2.
Arbor Week is also an excellent opportunity to view this year's major Arboretum exhibition "Steelroots: Tobin at The Morton Arboretum." These 14 monumental, abstract root sculptures are fine art that visitors are encouraged to touch!
The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned leader in tree science and education, working to save and plant trees. The 1,700-acre outdoor museum features magnificent collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission - the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. Central Time until sunset. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit Press Room at www.mortonarb.org, call to learn more.