Each year, the last Friday in April is set aside to celebrate Arbor Day and call attention to the important role trees play in our lives, our communities and Idaho.
Although public events planned for the date have been canceled, the Idaho Forest Products Commission (IFPC) is celebrating by making new educational resources for teachers and families available online and have partnered with communities statewide to safely spread blue spruce seedlings.
“We’re doing our best to celebrate Arbor Day with Idahoans in non-traditional ways this year given the circumstance,” said Jennifer Okerlund, IFPC Director. “Our photo contest deadline has been extended and we’ve shared seedlings with essential businesses and Idaho communities that can help with safe dissemination.”
IFPC encourages you to celebrate Arbor Day in individual ways using online resources on the Idaho Forests website. You can get in on the fun by planting a tree or celebrating an existing tree in your yard or neighborhood. Commemorative shirts and hats are available for purchase and kids get free resources, lessons, activities and printables to help them learn about Arbor Day. 5th through 12th graders are encouraged to participate in the 2020 Arbor Day Photo Contest, the deadline has been extended to April 24.
Trees are Idaho’s great renewable resource that can be managed for the future. IFPC hopes you will look to Idaho’s forests for all the things they contribute to our state and our way of life.
“From the trees in our back yard and in our local and state parks, to the private, state and federal forests that cover 40 percent of our state — trees and forests make our lives in Idaho better,” said Okerlund.
Working forests provide local jobs to 31,000 Idahoans and bring over $2.2 billion to our state’s economy. Additionally, timber harvested from state forests provided over $78 million to Idaho public schools and institutions last year, and over 1,640,000 tree seedlings were plated.
“Trees are harvested to improve forest health, reduce fire risk or make the wood and paper products we all use,” said Okerlund. It’s this management that makes our forests sustainable for future generations. For every tree harvested, seven more are growing for the future.”
For more information about Arbor Day and Idaho’s forests, visit www.idahoforests.org