The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) encourages all Alabamians to join in this year’s Arbor Week celebration! The Winston County AFC will be holding a tree seedling give-away on Monday, February 24, 2014. The trees will be given out at the Alabama Forestry Commission Office in Double Springs, located at 225 Coats Street, starting at 9:00 a.m. and continuing until all the seedlings are gone.
According to the agency, the 75,000 seedlings provided in the give-aways were grown last year and purchased from Wallace State Community College’s Hopper Nursery in Hanceville. “We all need trees,” said Dan Jackson, Alabama’s Acting State Forester. “They provide a multitude of environmental, economic, and social benefits to the communities and citizens of Alabama. It’s our hope that more families across the state will take part in this celebration and share the joy of planting trees,” Jackson added.
Although Arbor Day is observed in all 50 states and throughout the world today, it actually finds its roots in Nebraska. The idea was conceived and the name “Arbor Day” proposed by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, then a member of the State Board of Agriculture and later U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The idea caught on and over one million trees were planted that first year. Other states followed suit and, in 1887, Alabama Governor Thomas Seay signed the state’s first Arbor Day Proclamation. The tradition of a governor’s proclamation continued in Alabama until 1975 when the Birmingham Beautification Board, the State Garden Club, the AFC, and the State Board of Education collaborated with the State Legislature to pass a legislative act designating the last full week in February as “Arbor Week.”