MADISON — Communities across Wisconsin this week are celebrating Forest Appreciation Week and Arbor Day, as declared by Gov. Scott Walker.
In the proclamation, Walker said that “the demands on our forest resources necessitate an increased awareness of their economic, social, cultural, and ecological values.”
“In addition to their well-known ecological benefits, trees in our communities provide economic benefits as well,” according to Jeff Roe, urban forestry team leader for the Department of Natural Resources. “Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and save energy used for heating by 20 to 50 percent.”
Volunteers participate in an Arbor Day Tree Planting at High Cliff State Park.
Photo Credit: DNR
Roe also noted the social and human health benefits of the trees where we live. “Spending time near trees improves physical and mental health by increasing energy level and speed of recovery, while decreasing blood pressure and stress,” Roe said.
To promote the “individual commitment to the study and appreciation of trees and forests” as called for in the Arbor Day proclamation, the DNR Division of Forestry donated 38,000 tree seedlings to Wisconsin fourth grade classrooms for their Arbor Day celebrations this week.
“Not only is learning about the value and benefits of trees important,” Roe said, “but planting trees today is also essential for future generations.”
Wisconsin celebrates Arbor Day on the last Friday of April and April 29, 2016 is the 133rd year of this annual tree celebration in Wisconsin. Visit the DNR website at dnr.wi.gov and search keywords “Arbor Day” for resources to help your community celebrate trees and forests.