At a recent Ely City Council meeting, the council approved May 7 be proclaimed as Arbor Day.

In 1872, J. Sterling Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for the planting of trees, and this holiday, called Arbor Day, was first observed with the planting of more than a million trees in Nebraska, and Arbor Day is now observed throughout the nation and the world, and trees can reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce life-giving oxygen, and provide habitat for wildlife, and trees are a renewable resource giving us paper, wood for our homes, fuel for our fires and countless other wood products, and trees in Ely increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas, and beautify our community, and trees, wherever they are planted, are a source of joy and spiritual renewal.

The Ely Tree Board has sponsored several plantings over the course of the years. The largest planting was at the White Pine Aquatic Center with 12 trees planted along the bypass and at the east side property boundary.

Other plantings have included tree planting along the fence area near the 4-H area, Broadbent Park and the White Pine Golf Course.

What do you do on Arbor Day? Plant a tree, or several. Of course, we know that’s not an option for everyone, but there are other ways to celebrate Arbor Day and show your appreciation for trees.

These include hiking, going on a tree-identifying walk or going on a hunt for the largest and oldest trees in your neighborhood.