Arbor Day Fun

Arbor Day Fun

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Students, communities participate in Nebraska Tree-a-Thon

 
While coronavirus keeps school doors closed, educators are getting creative to provide learning experiences beyond the classroom. This week, students in York and Butler Counties received a special curriculum enhancement: trees. Public and private schools in these counties partnered with the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District (NRD) to provide children of all ages with free Ponderosa Pine seedlings to plant for Arbor Day. They were also provided access to a “digital backpack” of tree related educational content to explore.
 
During Arbor Day weekend (April 24-26), youth and their communities across the state will participate in the Nebraska Tree-A-Thon to plant and celebrate trees. Communities are collaborating with a coalition of nonprofits and public institutions including Beyond School Bells and afterschool providers (like York Afterschool Program), the Arbor Day Foundation, Natural Resources Districts, Audubon Nebraska, Nebraska Forest Service, Nebraska Department of Education and the University of Nebraska. 
 
The Upper Big Blue NRD donated 1,200 trees for this project locally. School employees distributed the trees and planting instructions to kids who were eager to get them home and in the ground. Families were encouraged to share about their tree planting experience by taking photos and posting them on social media with the hashtags #NETreeAThon, #TreeSelfie and #ArborDayAtHome and tagging the NRD (@UBBNRD) or other partners.  
 
“It’s a great thing to educate the next generation about trees,” said Kyle Yrkoski, district forester with the Upper Big Blue NRD. “Trees are important and the world wouldn’t be the same without them. Once you teach kids about trees and start them planting, we hope they will teach others and keep on planting trees for the rest of their lives.”
 
Each year the Upper Big Blue NRD promotes tree planting for its many conservation benefits. Trees planted around a home or business can reduce heating and cooling costs. As a field windbreak, trees prevent soil erosion and reduce the effects of flooding. Planting trees is an important way to care for wildlife, as trees provide shelter and food for many species. From November to March each year, district residents can order a variety of trees through the NRD, which will be delivered in April in time for spring planting.  Learn more at www.upperbigblue.org/trees.
 
Upper Big Blue NRD District Forester Kyle Yrkoski gives a tree to York parent Carmen Fowler