Arbor Day can be celebrated in many ways, and can be as large or small as you want to make it. Your Arbor Day program can range from a neighborhood gathering for planting trees in a park to a school-wide event or a week-long regional festival with activities for thousands of people.
The possibilities are limited only by your imagination, and your resources. If time, budget, and human resources are a concern, join in with any of the other statewide events being presented or create a program that meets your resource base. No matter what, your organization will be able to help convey the need for healthier trees.
- Hold a tree planting ceremony at City Hall. Invite State Legislators, key officials, partners and local citizens. Have a Flag presentation by scouts or veterans' groups. Ask the Mayor to issue an Arbor Day Proclamation. Invite local school children to read poems about trees. Serve cookies and coffee. Take photos for publicity and post-promotions. Distribute tree seedlings.
- If your community is a designated Tree City USA, hold a reception to honor this accomplishment. If not, work with your city or Georgia Forestry Commission forester to make your community a Tree City USA.
- Honor the good stewards in your community. Choose people who have made a difference by advocating or accomplishing something environmentally significant within your community such as establishing a tree planting or recycling program, identifying or planting an arboretum, or raising funds and getting permission for an outdoor learning center. If possible, seek nominations from the community.
- Give an award to an outstanding neighborhood garden, citizen group, or developer supporting "tree-friendly" values.
- Schedule homeowner classes on tree pruning, tree selection, tree identification, and tree planting. Charge a small registration fee and use the money to purchase trees for the participants, or buy one tree to plant on public property in honor of those attending the classes.
- Pitch in to clean up a public park or downtown area. Recycle what you can and dispose of the rest properly. Ask residents within the area to help and encourage everyone to maintain the area once the work is done. Plant trees, flowers and shrubs to beautify the area. Local volunteer organizations may already have the supplies and volunteer support that you need.
- Host an Arbor Day Breakfast with key leaders and volunteers.
- Distribute Arbor Day flyers and tree planting information throughout neighborhoods or grocery/garden stores.
- Recruit new volunteers.
- Promote consistent messages and initiatives about Georgia's Arbor Day through any publicity or promotions you plan.
- Contact us if you want to list your Arbor Day event on our events calendar.
A Framework for Success
- Appoint a key individual who serves as the leader with a planning committee (vision, persistence, and inspiration to others).
- Meet with a city forester, tree board, or horticulturist to identify the tree needs within the community, how to meet the needs with your program, and how to plan for the event and any post-event tree care.
- Identify a clear goal on the basis of the purpose of conducting an event. Are you planting a tree, recognizing partners, or reading a proclamation? No matter if the goal is big or small, make it clear for everyone to embrace.
- Incorporate strategies and actions for activities, programs, and/or presentations (formal ceremonies should be brief - no more than 15 minutes).
- Match actions with financial resources and fund-raising possibilities.
- Construct a well-organized operations plan (timing schedules, logistics, contacts with experts and other groups, invites with detailed directions, speaker and entertainment arrangements, dignitary invitations, people to recognize at the event, subcommittee development, program agenda planning, local nursery for tree orders, proclamation signing, materials like brochures to give to attendees, plans for parking, etc.).
- Develop a news release and effective media relations contacts. Send print and broadcast media news releases with directions to your event two weeks prior to your event. Send media alerts with detailed directions to the same media at the start of the week your event will be hosted and in the early morning hours of your event's date. Call print media at least two days prior to your event.
- Fill volunteer jobs and give each volunteer detailed task descriptions.
- Ensure needed supplies are on hand. Items may include a microphone, podium, chairs, refreshments, name tags, markers, news releases, certificates of recognition, Tree City USA flags, directional signage from parking area to event location, camera and tree planting items (e.g. tree, shovel, water, dirt, and mulch).
- Provide tree seedlings to those who want to plant trees in their own yards (each tree should have planting/care instructions attached to the tree itself).