This April 2020 we are celebrating Ohio Native Plant Month, Earth Day’s 50 anniversary (April 22nd), and Arbor Day (last Friday in April, April 24th).
Many organizations throughout Northeast Ohio have been planning April celebration events for months, but due to the shelter-at-home restrictions to flatten the COVID-19 curve, celebrations in April will be very different this year. See below for ways in which Northeast Ohio will celebrate in April.
ARBOR DAY (April 24th) VIRTUAL CELEBRATIONS SCHEDULE
Trees have been celebrated around the world on Arbor Day for over a century.
The first American Arbor Day was celebrated on April 10, 1872 when Nebraskans planted an estimated 1 million trees. Nebraska journalist and politician, J. Sterling
Morton, planted orchards, shade trees and windbreaks on his own farm at Nebraska City. Morton was Secretary of Agriculture for President Cleveland and later served on Nebraska’s Board of Agriculture when he proposed that a special day be set aside dedicated to tree planting and raising awareness of the importance of trees. Nebraska made Arbor Day a legal holiday in 1885, using the date April 22 to commemorate Morton’s birthday.. For more on the history of Arbor Day, visit here. The Arbor Day Foundation continues Morton’s work.
National Arbor Day is now celebrated on the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year based on best tree planting times in their area. Here in Ohio we will celebrate Arbor Day 2020 on Friday, April 24th.
Please note that when planting trees in your yard, be sure to review the Cleveland Tree Plan’s Guide for Species Selection to determine what tree species will have the highest survival rate and provide the greatest benefits.
The Cleveland Tree Coalition is a collaborative group of public, private and community stakeholders that have partnered with the City of Cleveland to rebuild our urban forest. The coalition is striving to create a healthy, vibrant, sustainable, and equitable urban forest by working collaboratively to implement the Cleveland Tree Plan.
The Cleveland Tree Coalition will celebrate a virtual Arbor Day by highlighting the work of its partners throughout the week of April 19th.
Check out the Cleveland Tree Coalition’s Facebook page to learn more:
Share your own tree-related photos, videos, and posts using the hashtag #ArborDayCLE
Sunday, April 19
- City of Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone and tree activities in the Detroit Shoreway
- Holden Forests and Gardens’ Sandra Albro and the Cleveland Tree Coalition
Monday, April 20
- Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District Amy Roskilly and tools for planting trees
Tuesday, April 21
- Holden Forests & Gardens Tree Tuesday
- Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District book reading “Tap the Magic Tree” with Marie Fechik-Kirk
- Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s Lizzie Sords and unpacking and planting your Community Canopy tree
Wednesday, April 22
- Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District’s Amy Roskilly
- Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District book reading “What the Forest Knows” with Marie Fechik-Kirk
- Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and seeds
Thursday, April 23
- Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District’s Amy Roskilly and root flares
Friday, April 24
- City of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and the Cleveland Tree Plan
- Holden Forests & Gardens and the Tree Care Kit
- Cleveland Public Library book reading “Tree Lady” with Marina Marquez
- Holden Forests & Gardens’ Courtney Blashka and the “Top Ten Tree Care Tips”
Saturday, April 25
- Davey Resource Group’s Jim Jenkins and Ask an Arborist
If you have a tree-related question for Jim, please send it to the Cleveland Tree Coalition, firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Trees to City of Cleveland Homeowners
- City of Cleveland homeowners interested in obtaining a tree to plant in their yard can sign up through the Community Canopy program (limited to 100 trees total to be given away).
City of Cleveland Urban Forestry Program
- To learn about the City of Cleveland’s Urban Forestry Program check out the Frequently Asked Questions blog on the Sustainable Cleveland website (https://www.sustainablecleveland.org/urban_forestry).
EARTH DAY (APRIL 22nd) CELEBRATIONS
- Earth Day (https://www.earthday.org/)
- A Collaborative Celebration of Earth Day in Cleveland
Cleveland is celebrating Earth Day's 50th Anniversary! Please join several of Cleveland's conservation organizations in a socially distant day of action and learning.
- Individual Acts of Conservation
- Sustainable Cleveland Blog offers many suggestions on how to celebrate on Earth Day and throughout the year
- Cleveland Metroparks Celebrates Earth Day
- Virtual Screening of the film The Story of Plastic
OHIO NATIVE PLANT MONTH RESOURCES
On October 17, 2019, Ohio House Bill 59 was passed. This bill states:
The month of April is designated as ‘Ohio Native Plant Month’ to increase public awareness of Ohio’s native plants and the many benefits they provide to pollinators, Ohio’s economy, and the health of Ohio’s environment.
Ohio Native Plant Month
Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership (LEAP)
LEAP is a consortium of organizations operating within a wide spectrum of conservation missions with regard to our natural world. The Partnership was first convened in March 2004. Our geographic boundary encompasses the glaciated lands and waters south of Canada from Sandusky Bay to the Allegheny Mountains. This region contains diverse habitats and rare ecosystems that harbor many unique and uncommon species.
Member organizations of LEAP include government agencies, universities, research centers and conservation organizations involved with conservation of biodiversity, environmental education, and public outreach. We share a common goal: to enhance the biodiversity of our habitats and ecosystems.
To commemorate Ohio's first Native Plant Month, LEAP will be highlighting a native plant a day. Through its Native Plant of the Year promotion, which has been going on for the last 10 years, LEAP has spotlighted 3 native plants each year.
LEAP Native Plant Resource Page
Follow 30 native plants daily in April on LEAP's Facebook page.
Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves Ohio Bloom Report
The Wilderness Center Native Plant Sale
Native Plants in My Garden by Amy Roskilly video