Since 1872, Arbor Day has been about one thing: planting trees. J. Sterling Morton started the first Arbor Day in Nebraska City, NE. On that day, one million trees were planted in Nebraska. Today, Arbor Day is a nationally-recognized holiday, celebrated in over 30 countries, with the same mission: plant trees.
There are many parallels between Arbor Day’s and CTA’s missions. Just like planting trees, at CTA, we Pioneer Environments: creating unique, value-rich, durable spaces in which all comers can live work, and grow. As the first trees planted on Arbor Day matured, they allowed people to move into America’s Great Plains by providing food, heat, and protection from the elements. Today’s Arbor Day trees are just as important in pioneering built environments and aiding in reducing heating loads, absorbing CO2, providing habitat, and beautifying our environment.
Every year, regional CTA offices participate in Arbor Day celebrations — most notably in Billings, MT, however, where the city’s festivities won the 2016 National Celebration Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. Team members from CTA Billings spend the day hosting an education booth teaching 500 local fourth graders about the benefits of rain barrels and how they can collect rainwater at their own homes. CTA has also helped with organization, graphic design, and landscape design for new tree plantings. This year’s Billings Arbor Day celebration will be held May 4 in Veterans Park.
In celebration of Arbor Day, and the close of another World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM), members of CTA’s landscape architecture team have shared some of their favorite trees, accompanied by sketches from Heidi Ratcliff of Cushing Terrell Seattle (B&W) and Katie Clay from CTA Boise (color).