Plant a tree, save the world

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 1, 2007

On Tuesday, a group gathered in front of Selma High School to plant a laurel oak tree in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

The event was held during what is celebrated as Arbor Week.

The lack of trees on the plains of Nebraska in the mid-1800s led a man named J. Sterling Morton to become an advocate of tree planting. As secretary of the Nebraska Territory , he stressed the value of trees, and in 1872 he first proposed a tree planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day,” according to the National Arbor Day Foundation.

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We live in an area where big, beautiful oaks, pines and magnolias are a part of our landscape.

Still, trees are being cut down at a rapid rate.

Why should we be concerned?

Trees provide beauty, but more than that, they alter the environment by moderating climate, improving air quality and harboring wildlife, according to the National Forest Service.

Wind is affected by trees, and, as we all know, trees provide shading and cools things down a bit.

They provide protection, store water and reduce storm runoff, which helps prevent erosion and flooding.

For more practical benefits, trees provide privacy and can hide unsightly views.

We thank the city’s beautification committee, Selma High School and those Master Gardeners who participated in planting the oak tree.

Such acts help enhance our community, and further promote the beauty of Selma.