Ray Welch | Daily News

A cloudy vista of mountainous trees in the area. Arbor Day is recognized this month.

See the green — plant a tree

Arbor Day is April 27. For those not in the know, Arbor Day, according to timeanddate.com, is a yearly holiday meant to illustrate the important role trees play in our day to day lives by promoting the cultivation and care of the plant.

Founder J. Sterling Morton, of Nebraska, began recognition of the day in 1862. He stated, “Other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future.” It’s a legitimate holiday in Nebraska, resulting in some state offices and historical areas being closed for the day.

Arbor Day has since branched out of its home state of Nebraska, with other states celebrating the holiday on the last Friday of April. Schools, local organizations, civic clubs and individuals take part in Arbor Day across the country. Some states observe it on dates that better coincide with local planting times.

Southernforests.org offers a handy guide on how to celebrate Arbor Day. Each tree planted helps promote clean air and water, beautifies where it is planted, helps to conserve energy, creates homes for wildlife, helps prevent soil erosion and has other benefits.

The day is also used as an opportunity to provide an educational tool for children and families to learn about trees and the environment. Family activities such as planting a tree together at a public planting event or at home are promoted and encouraged.

There are many ways a person can observe Arbor Day. Joining in on the community fun is one way. Attending a planting event, a planting course, engaging in civil action such as recycling or clean-up initiatives or helping to organize any of the above is appreciated by all involved. Celebrating on your own by simply learning about trees and plants and performing home gardening is also encouraged.

Locally, on April 19 the Bell County Cooperative Extension and Bell County Soil Conservation will be hosting a tree giveaway at the Middlesboro Mall starting at 10 a.m. and ending when trees are all given out.