IIB to honor Arbor Day

Published 10:45 am Tuesday, April 26, 2016

J. Sterling Morton was considered one of the finest journalists of his day as he was the editor of one of Nebraska’s top newspapers. Most people aren’t aware of his career accomplishments, but they do know of his avocation — caring for the environment and more importantly, trees.

It was Morton who came up with the idea of having an annual tree-planting holiday that we nowadays call Arbor Day. The date was originally April 10. That was back in 1874.

Ten years later, the day was moved to April 22 or Morton’s birthday in honor of his commitment to the environment. That year everyone in the Nebraska Territory, as it hadn’t become a state yet, celebrated with students from all grades planting trees and then dedicated to caring for them. Today it is celebrated on the last Friday in April.

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While some communities overlook Arbor Day, that can’t be said in Ironton. At least for the past three years. Ironton in Bloom has marked the day with special ceremonies and plantings.

The first time, trees were planted down Center Street with volunteers coming out to shovel out the spaces for them. Next year trees were put out in the newly formed pocket parks at Etna Street and Memorial Hall.

This year Ironton In Bloom will have four separate ceremonies with two of them at Ironton schools, just the way the first observers did.

At noon at the courthouse there will be a tree planting followed by a second at 12:30 p.m. at Third and Vernon streets, 1 p.m. at Ironton Middle and 2:30 p.m. at Ironton High.

Once again Ironton In Bloom has galvanized the community in the pursuit of beauty.