By Pat Kerl

Please join us for our Arbor Day celebration on Friday, April 24, 2015, in the Nannen Arboretum.

Town of Ellicottville Supervisor John Burrell and Village of Ellicottville Mayor Charlie Coolidge will make a proclamation declaring April 24, 2015 as Arbor Day in Ellicottville, and a ‘Golden Curls’ willow, Salix matsudana, will be planted by the Nannen Arboretum Society and the Tree City USA flag will be raised. We also will be recognizing our arboretum volunteer of the year, Diane Smith.

Refreshments will be available after the ceremony in the Town Center auditorium.

Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. The idea for Arbor Day in the United States originated in Nebraska City, NE after nature lovers J. Sterling Morton and his wife, Caroline, planted their homestead with trees, shrubs and flowers. In 1872, the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture accepted a resolution by Morton to “set aside one day to plant trees, both forest and fruit.” The Board declared April 10, 1872 Arbor Day, offering prizes to the counties and individuals that properly planted the largest number of trees on that day. More than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day and J. Sterling Morton became known as its founder.

Shortly after this 1872 observance, other states passed legislation to observe an annual Arbor Day with appropriate ceremonies. New York State celebrates Arbor Day on the last Friday of April.

Planting trees is an act of kindness and optimism. The trees we plant clean the air, beautify our neighborhoods, provide homes for wildlife, conserve energy and topsoil, and help keep the atmosphere in balance. Life is just better when we live among the trees.

The Nannen Arboretum Society is a not-for-profit, volunteer based organization dedicated to providing home garden and natural resource education and an opportunity for nature appreciation and leisure. Society membership is open to anyone who desires to support the Arboretum’s mission.

The arboretum, which is funded by donations and grants, is currently reviewing grant opportunities and encourages you to consider one of the following donation opportunities. Donations are tax-deductible under federal income tax rules.

• Monetary donation – you may donate directly to the donation box located at the entry shelter at the Nannen Arboretum, on our Web site or by check to Nannen Arboretum Society.

• Memorial Bricks for the Celebration Walkway – bricks are available in two sizes (4” x 8” or 8” x 8”) and can be ordered on our Web site, via email or by snail mail.

• The gift of a tree or shrub – you may choose from a pre-selected list of trees and shrubs native to the Western New York area.

• A wooden bench memorialized with your personal message and/or a name on a brass plaque.

Nannen Arboretum Society

PO Box 1016

Ellicottville, NY 14731

April and May are great months to visit the Nannen Arboretum as the landscape changes from the black and white of winter to the cheerful shades of spring. We hope to see you there.