Celebrate Wisconsin’s vital rural and urban forests this Arbor Day

MADISON, Wisconsin. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages the public to celebrate Friday, April 28 as Wisconsin Arbor Day and April 22-28 as Forest Appreciation Week.

Arbor Day, an annual observance promoting tree planting and care, has been celebrated in Wisconsin on the last Friday of April since 1883. Forest Appreciation Week, which runs from Earth Day April 22 through Arbor Day is a time to reflect on the importance of trees and forests in our lives.

“Forests are deeply embedded in Wisconsin culture,” said Heather Berklund, DNR state forestry director. “Wisconsin’s rural and urban forests play a vital role in our state and local economy and environmental health.”

The 17 million acres of forests that cover nearly half of Wisconsin and the millions of urban trees across the state protect water resources, provide habitat for wildlife, and support our forestry industry, while providing countless recreational opportunities. outdoors, they support human health and mitigate the impacts of climate change. .

Investments in tree planting and forest stewardship by communities, homeowners, and forest land owners are key to ensuring Wisconsin continues to have healthy, sustainable urban and rural forests that support stronger, more resilient communities.

Students across the state have also played a stewardship role over the years, as the DNR donates tree seedlings each year to fourth-grade classrooms to commemorate Arbor Day. More than 35,000 seedlings were sent to schools this week to help students learn about the importance of trees in their lives. In addition, the DNR reforestation program has provided Wisconsin landowners with more than 1.6 billion seedlings since 1911.

In 2021, the state of Wisconsin committed to plant trees and conserve forests by focusing on stewardship of forests and trees in both rural and urban areas, addressing the equitable distribution of urban tree cover, and pledging to safeguard our active forest lands development. . Preserving and growing Wisconsin’s forests is critical to supporting Wisconsin’s forest products industry, which provides 61,000 jobs and contributes $24.4 billion annually to the state’s economy.

Two years after the commitment, progress towards the goal of planting 74 million rural trees by 2030 is 30%. Progress toward the urban tree planting goal of 1 million trees is 8.8%. Finally, progress towards the conservation goal of 125,000 acres of forests is 13.1%.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s forestry programs on the DNR website.