April 26 Arbor Day celebration planned within Gillespie Park Canine Park

First 20 dog owners who arrive for event to be able to enjoy ‘special free activity’

Image courtesy City of Sarasota

From 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday, April 26, the City of Sarasota will host its annual Arbor Day celebration — this time, within the Gillespie Park Canine Park, staff has announced.

That park is located at 1791 10th St., at the intersection of North Osprey Avenue and 10th Street, a city news release says.

The Arbor Day Foundation explains the following about the origin of Arbor Day” “As pioneers began moving into the Nebraska Territory, the lack of trees was felt deeply. Not only did the new residents miss the trees they left behind, they were also left without the trees they needed as windbreaks to keep soil in place, for fuel and building materials, and for shade from the hot sun.”

The Foundation adds, “Nebraska newspaper editor — and resident of Nebraska City, NE — J. Sterling Morton had an enthusiasm for trees and advocated strongly for individuals and civic groups to plant them. Once he became secretary of the Nebraska Territory, he further spread his message of the value of trees. And on January 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree planting holiday to be called ‘Arbor Day’ at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture.

“The celebration date was set for April 10, 1872,” the Foundation continues. “Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for the largest number of properly planted trees on that day. It was estimated that more than 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.”

The City of Sarasota celebration this week “will be a tree-riffic event where you can watch the ceremonial planting of a Red Bay tree and hear the City’s Arbor Day proclamation,” the city news release says. Additionally, the first 20 dog owners who arrive within the Canine Park “will get to enjoy a special free activity,” the release points out. “Don’t miss out on this opportunity to celebrate Arbor Day with your furry friend!”

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