Free seedlings being given for Arbor Day
April 18, 2017
Among the pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854 was J. Sterling Morton from Detroit. He and his wife were lovers of nature, and the home they established in barren Nebraska was quickly planted with trees, shrubs and flowers.

Morton was a journalist and he quickly spread agricultural information and his enthusiasm for trees to an excited audience through Nebraska’s finest newspaper.
Trees were needed as windbreaks and to keep soil in place. Also for fuel and building materials, and for shade from the hot sun.

On January 4, 1872, Morton proposed a tree-planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day” and a date was set by the State Board of Agriculture for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered for planting the largest number of trees. It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on that first Arbor Day.

Other states then passed legislation to observe Arbor Day and the tradition began. Today the most common date for Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, April 28 this year, but there's no set rule.

In Bonners Ferry, you can celebrate not once this year, but twice!

The Boundary Soil Conservation District will be giving away free Ponderosa Pine seedlings at Super 1 Foods from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, unless the seedlings go faster than expected.

And on Friday, the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) is celebrating Arbor Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the IDL parking lot, 6327 Main Street, Bonners Ferry.

hile supplies last, free seedlings will be given to each person who stops by, and there will be educational activities and prizes to win. Foresters will also be available to answer questions about Idaho state forests and private lands, and firefighters will demonstrate fire engines and their tools of the trade.