MADISON - Celebrations across the state are taking place to celebrate Forest Appreciation Week, which is capped off by Arbor Day on Friday, April 28. Governor Scott Walker issued a proclamation recognizing Forest Appreciation Week and Arbor Day. Wisconsin has celebrated Arbor Day since 1883.
"Wisconsin's forests are important to the overall health of our state's economy, environment, and culture," said Chief State Forester Fred Souba at the Department of Natural Resources. "The 17.1 million acres of forests in Wisconsin provide nearly 65,000 Wisconsin jobs and contribute more than $24 billion annually to the state's economy as well as providing beautiful vistas for recreation activities and many other environmental benefits."
"Because everyone works together at every level from the foresters helping woodland owners plan tree plantings to the loggers working with woodland owners to responsibly harvest their woodlot, our woodlands are healthy and sustainable for future generations to enjoy," Souba said.
In honor of Arbor Day, the DNR Division of Forestry donated about 33,000 tree seedlings to Wisconsin fourth-grade classrooms to commemorate Arbor Day to help young people learn about the important role trees play in Wisconsin's natural beauty.
"Urban forests can reduce energy costs, provide health benefits, improve air quality and control erosion," according to Jeff Roe, DNR urban forestry team leader. "It is clear our residents recognize the social and environmental benefits trees offer since so many communities across Wisconsin have earned Tree City USA designation."
Wisconsin is second in the nation for Tree City USA communities. Holding an Arbor Day celebration is one of the four standards of urban forest management a community must meet to achieve Tree City USA status. The other requirements are: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance and spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry. For ideas on how to celebrate Arbor Day and to see if your community is designated as a Tree City USA, go to /education/educatorresources/arborDay.html.