By Kristine Lessard
Green River Parks and Recreation 

Notes from Town Square: Arbor Day in GR


Arbor Day – a day dedicated to public tree planting was first observed in the 19th century over 145 years ago. The Arbor Day Foundation was founded in 1972 with a mission to “inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.”

This year will mark the 34th annual celebration for Green River, which also will mark the 34th year as a designated Tree City USA community. Green River holds the second longest continuous streak for being named as a Tree City USA community in our great state of Wyoming, second only to our capital city of Cheyenne, who holds the title by one year.

In Wyoming alone there are 41 communities who are Tree City USA communities out of the 3,400 across the country.

This yearly event is the opportune time to bring awareness of the benefits of tree planting, conservation, and education of the impact trees have on our ecosystems, communities, and each of us individually.

Some interesting facts about trees include their role in filtering the air by aiding in the removal of pollution from the atmosphere, generically explained as fine particles adhering to leaves with some of the particles being consumed by the tree, others being washed off and back into the ground.

Additionally, as trees consume carbon dioxide they emit oxygen.

It is believed that one large tree could provide a day’s oxygen for up to four people and it’s been stated that 20 percent of the world’s oxygen comes from the Amazon Rainforest.

Trees provide cooling as they lower surface and air temperatures by shading, not to mention that the evaporation of water from trees contributes to the cooling effects of our atmosphere. Trees in any climate serve as vital habitat to wildlife, whether it is a bird or small mammal.

Trees can be used in the classroom as well, for example:

Science – a tree in itself represents an entire eco-system which is a collection of different organisms that inhabit the same habitat and function together along with the environment. From the roots which absorb water and air, the fungi that help the tree develop and absorb the nutrients on up the tree, to the branches and limbs which could be home to lichen and mosses which feed insects, birds and small mammals.

Eventually the tree dies, decays and the cycle begins again.

Math, Social Studies and English – One can learn to measure a trees crown, height or its age through counting its rings. You can correlate historic events to the tree rings and write a story or a poem of the history that was taking place during the life of the tree.

Trees in themselves serve such a vital role in our environment – let’s do our part – go out and plant a tree or perhaps several.

Join us in celebrating our 34th consecutive Arbor Day, Saturday 10 a.m., at Apache Trails Park located at 1240 Apache Ave.


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