Arbor Day Archives - Eva Varga

April 17, 2015

The Arbor Day Foundation was founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance in the 19th century. I was born just a month later in Oregon – where a full week is set aside to celebrate trees.

The Arbor Day Foundation inspires people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.

We can do better than a single day or even a full week to honor earth. Join us in celebrating trees all year long with these 12 activities.

Celebrate Arbor Day with These 12 Activities @EvaVarga.net1. Learn about the history of Arbor Day

2. Plant a fruit tree in your yard or enjoy field trip to an apple farm

3. Correlate the history of the United States to one tree’s growth rings

4. Create art or poetry inspired by trees

forest ecology5. Get Involved with the US Forestry Department or other resource agency

6. Learn how to measure a tree’s height, crown spread and diameter

7. Study the ecosystem of one particular tree


Life Logic: Botany – Plenty O’Plants  is a hands-on life science curriculum that provides ample opportunity for kids to explore plant science in-depth.  This 10-week unit is full of inquiry-based activities and lesson plans fully outlined for you.

8. Learn to identify trees in your community using a dichotomous key or create your own

9.  Study the structure of a tree, how it functions, and what benefits a tree provides

10. Take a nature walk and practice your new skill

Arbor Day @EvaVarga.net11. Organize a Nature Explore Families’ Club

The Arbor Day Foundation has put together a research-based, field-tested collection of resources designed to help you organize a Nature Explore Families’ Club at your school, organization, or in your neighborhood. The Families’ Club Kit has everything you need to start a club and help you connect families with the outdoors and each other.

It also includes general information and customizable forms to get your club started, a facilitator’s guide with helpful hints on organization, and 15 visual, child-friendly activity sheets with facilitator notes specific to each one. For families interested in getting started with nature study and outdoor learning in a co-op environment, this is a wonderful resource!

Read my post, How to Start a Homeschool Coop, to learn more about how to get started with collaborative learning experiences.

12. Show us your favorite tree

Post your photo in the comments, on my Facebook, or send me an email (eva underscore varga at me dot com). I’ll compile them in a special post and we can celebrate Arbor Day together!



April 15, 2011

When I was a little girl, I vividly recall going to Beaver Hill with my classmates to plant trees with the forest service. It was one of my most memorable field trips … not because of the distance we traveled but because of the impact I we made. I knew we were planting trees that would grow and mature in our lifetime. Each time I drive south on Hwy 101, I look out the window and recall that day.

When I saw the advertisement for a similar opportunity here with Parks & Rec, I knew immediately that this was a perfect project for our Roots & Shoots group. I thereby invited the other families and made plans to spend the morning at the park planting trees. They shared my enthusiasm and most interesting, one mom had grown up in the area and could recall the fire that burned through the area in the early 90s that we were now replanting.

We drove out to the park and met with the Parks & Rec coordinator, Eric.  Along the way, he talked and provided us with a little history of the area.  We were surprised to learn that a train trellis had actually been built through here at the height of the logging industry in the area.

We got started right away and everyone had a good time.  The weather wasn’t ideal (moments of gropple, rain, wind and even glorious sun), however, and a few of our young workers got quite cold.  They thereby planted about a dozen or so trees and then opted to head back home.  I remained with the 3 diehards and we continued to work another 2 hours.  In the end, our group planted close to 100 trees and put protective tubes around many of the previous planted trees (the previous group had run out of the tubes).

These two energetic young men (pictured below) also spent a good deal of time digging a trench … all the while talking about the advantage a trench was during war.  Where they came up with this, I have no idea … but it kept them engaged for a good hour.  I asked them how many trees they thought they might have been able to plant had they not spent so much time digging their trench but they paid me no mind.  They were having a good time … they were outside getting dirty … that was all that mattered.

When we returned home, we were treated to a wonderful bowl of chicken soup … homemade by one of the moms.  The kiddos played a while and the moms chatted.  It was a delightful day … despite the weather.