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By Hoffmaster Host on 4/17/2012 9:48 AM

The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska. It was the brainchild of Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902), a Nebraska journalist and former Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland. But his most important legacy is Arbor Day.

Morton's real opportunity arrived when he became a member of Nebraska's state board of agriculture. He proposed that a special day be set aside dedicated to tree planting and increasing awareness of the importance of trees. Nebraska's first Arbor Day was an amazing success. More than one million trees were planted!

Today, all 50 states celebrate Arbor Day although the dates may vary in keeping with the local climate. (Here in Wisconsin, we celebrate on the last Friday in April each year - this year it’s April 27th). Arbor Day is also now celebrated in other countries including Australia. Sometimes one good idea can make a real difference.

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