By Dominic J Larsen, News Editor
“Each generation takes the Earth as a trustee. We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards, as we have exhausted and consumed.”
– J. Sterling Morton.
Today, Friday, April 28, 2017, is Arbor Day, a day dedicated to the importance of trees and planting new ones.
Arbor Day can trace its “fruitful” history to Nebraska City, Nebraska on April 10, 1872. J. Sterling Morton, Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland, created the holiday to encourage his statesmen to understand the importance of trees and other shrubbery. Most historians estimate that over one million trees were planted on the original Arbor Day. The holiday gained international recognition when Birdsey Northrop, Chairman of the American Forestry Association, visited Japan in 1883 and shared of the wonders Arbor Day held.
Arbor Day would continue “to sprout,” eventually catching the eye of the President. Theodore Roosevelt was an avid conservationist and created five national parks and over 50 national forests during his administration. Along with protecting America’s national treasures, Roosevelt delivered his “Arbor Day Proclamation to the School Children of the United States,” which urged the necessity for education on trees and the environment.
America holds some of the last truly wild areas, and some nations do not even have the opportunity to enjoy these magnificent wonders. Shakheel George, a Kennedy senior, was born and raised in the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore, moving to America when he was 12 years old. George is very grateful for the natural beauty that America has to offer. He explained, “Singapore is densely populated. Everywhere you look there are people. America is wide open with places to go.”
Arbor Day is often overshadowed, commencing shortly after Earth Day, and forgotten by many Americans. Despite being ignored, the holiday holds tremendous importance. Now more than ever, Earth needs protecting. We, the American people, must do our part in eliminating litter, waste, and continue to give back to the environment. Matthew Murata, another Kennedy senior and member of the Green Catalyst Club, stressed, “Planting trees is important because they recycle the carbon dioxide into the oxygen we breathe. With that in mind, what would our world be like without trees?” The Clarion invites all of John F. Kennedy to contribute and give back to the world that we call home.