How to Celebrate Arbor Day

It has been over 135 years since J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day. His simple idea of setting aside a special day for tree planting is now more important than ever. Discover ideas on how to celebrate Arbor Day in your community.

Arbor Day Celebration

Download the Guidebook download

Our Celebrate Arbor Day Guidebook shows you a smorgasbord of possibilities. Pick and choose what makes sense for you. This PDF is available for free download for the first time ever (12.7 MBs).

Celebration Ideas

Group Celebrations

  • Celebrate Arbor Day in your classroom.
  • Raise the flag, strike up the band, make Arbor Day fun. Make it memorable.
  • Organize a beautification project in a public area.
  • Get people into action. Ask a civic or service group to promote a paper drive to gather paper to be recycled and save a tree. Use the proceeds to buy a special tree to plant in a park or other special public place.
  • Hold a poster contest, or a poetry contest.
  • Sponsor a children’s pageant or play.
  • Fill the air with music. Have an Arbor Day concert of songs about trees, or with tree names in their titles.
  • Sponsor a tree trivia contest. Give away trees to winners.
  • Conduct a tree search. Ask people to find large, unusual or historic trees in your community. Once the results are in, publish a map that highlights the winners, or hold a walk showcasing them.
  • Tell people to take a hike - a tree identification hike - and have girl scouts or boy scouts act as guides.
  • Dedicate a forest, or a tree, or a flower bed in a park, and make it an occasion to talk about stewardship. Get a local nursery or garden center to hold an open house or field day. Organize an Arbor Day Fair.
  • Encourage neighborhood organizations to hold block parties and get their members to adopt and care for street trees in front of their homes. Pass out buttons. Give away trees.

Individual Celebration

  • Celebrate Arbor Day in a personal way by planting a tree yourself. It is an act of optimism and kindness, a labor of love and a commitment to stewardship.
  • Read a book about trees. Learn to identify trees in your yard and neighborhood.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Visit a local park or take a nature hike.
  • Attend a class on tree and plant care.
  • Volunteer with a local tree-planting organization. You’ll meet new people and make a difference in your community.

Additional Resource

Tree City USA Bulletin: Working With Children