Thanks to our commitment to urban forestry, Grants Pass received national designation as a Tree City USA community from the non-profit Arbor Day Foundation for the 31st year. In response to this recognition the City Council encourages the entire community to join us in celebrating our trees. They enrich our lives in numerable ways by providing cooling shade, attracting wildlife, purifying our air and water, preventing soil erosion and adding splendor to our homes and community.
The 141 year tradition of Arbor Day lives on in our community thanks to the foresight of J. Sterling Morton, a settler of the Nebraska Territory in 1854. Morton was an agricultural enthusiast and advocate for the planting of trees by civic organizations, individuals and business. He saw the long term benefit of trees to a community to serve as windbreaks, fuel, building materials, to provide shade, suppress erosion, for beautification and enjoyment. Later, as Secretary of the Nebraska Territory, Morton proposed to the Board of Agriculture that a holiday be created to encourage the proper planting of trees. It was estimated that over one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day held on April 10, 1872.
This year, Grants Pass will celebrate Arbor Day with the planting of a Douglas-Fir tree at Reinhart Volunteer Park on April 1st at 10:30 a.m.