Arbor Day or National Tree Day

What is the difference between Arbor day, and National Tree Day?

Does Canada celebrate both?

Arbor day originates in the etymology; Latin arbor, meaning tree.  On April 10, 1872 the state of Nebraska became the first state in America to celebrate Arbor Day by planting one million trees!  However, the Spanish village of Mondoñedo held the first abor plantation festival as early as 1594.  The roots of our modern “Arbor Day” was launched in 1805 in Villanueva de la Sierra, Spain.  According to the Arbor Day Foundation, countries around the world celebrate trees at various times during the year.

“By creating National Tree Day, the House has asked Canadians to spend just one day reflecting on the link between their lives and that of the tree,” said Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament.  “Canadians will dedicate trees, plant trees, learn about trees and appreciate the impact the tree has had on Canada’s economic success as a nation.”

Canada celebrates Maple Leaf Day orNational Tree Day in the middle of National Forest Week, as Maple Leaf Day falls on the last Wednesday of September.

“The federal government is proud to help celebrate Canada’s first National Tree Day,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. “Forests are not only an important part of our heritage, they are also essential to our future. Every tree planted today helps preserve our forests for future generations”

Maple Leaf Day has its origins with Sir George W. Ross, later the Premier of Ontario, when he was Minister of Education in Ontario (1883-1899). According to the Ontario Teachers’ Manuals “History of Education” (1915), Ross established both Arbour Day and Empire Day – “the former to give the school children an interest in making and keeping the school grounds attractive, and the latter to inspire the children with a spirit of patriotism” Arbor Day  

National Tree Day.  Trees are essential to our lives.  They provide us with oxygen, clean our water, purify our air, elevate our mood and so much more. A tree can sequester 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide by the time it is 40 years old, so trees are invaluable to our battle against climate change. Not only must we take care of our forests, but we must also expand the living infrastructure within our cities.

Successive Canadian governments of all stripes have supported healthy forests, and are bringing more trees into cities. That is why Tree Canada, Canada’s leading national tree organization, has recognized the people of Canada with its coveted Eterne Award. Joyce Murray.  Open Parliament Government of Canada September 27, 2018

Whereas, the United States of America celebrates National Arbor Day on the last Friday of April, which will be April 26, 2019, though various states host their festivals according to the optimal planting time for their ecoregion.  Several Canadian provinces also plant trees, and celebrate Arbor Day as well, with a spring planting event.  Very interestingly, the United Kingdom also celebrates their National Tree Week in November, 24th November – 2nd December 2018. National Tree Week U.K. is  followed by National Tree Dressing Day on the first weekend of December. 

National Tree Dressing Day honours the life-giving blessings of trees and is based upon an ancient custom. “Trees have long been celebrated for their spiritual significance. The simplicity of tying strips of cloth or yarn to a tree is universal and timeless. The old Celtic custom of tying cloth dipped in water from a holy well to a ‘clootie tree’ echoes the practice in Japan of decorating trees with strips of white paper, or tanzaku, bearing wishes and poems. The twenty-first century trend of ‘yarn bombing’ in Europe and North America transforms the local landscape with bright fabrics and yarns, like the Buddhist tradition of tying ribbons around the trunk of the Bodhi tree in homage to Buddha, or the annual Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan when coloured strings are tied onto trees and plants to call upon the power of nature to protect loved ones.”  Source  It’s a way to say thank you to the trees in your community.

” While Napoleon was ravaging Europe with his ambition in this village in the Sierra de Gata lived a priest, don Juan Abern Samtrés, which, according to the chronicles, “convinced of the importance of trees for health, hygiene, decoration, nature, environment and customs, decides to plant trees and give a festive air. The festival began on Carnival Tuesday with the ringing of two bells of the church, and the Middle and the Big. After the Mass, and even coated with church ornaments, don Juan, accompanied by clergies, teachers and a large number of neighbours, planted the first tree, a poplar, in the place known as Valley of the Ejido. Tree plantations continued by Arroyada and Fuente de la Mora. Afterwards, there was a feast, and did not miss the dance. The party and plantations lasted three days. He drafted a manifesto in defence of the trees that was sent to surrounding towns to spread the love and respect for nature, and also he advised to make tree plantations in their localities.”
— Miguel Herrero Uceda, Arbor Day

This Arbour Day celebration is separate from the International Forests Day, March 21, was adopted by the United Nations to raise “awareness at all levels in order to strengthen the sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and trees outside forests for the benefit of current and future generations…[regarding] Forests and Sustainable Cities…Forests and trees store carbon, which helps mitigate the impacts of climate change in and around urban areas.” Source

World Forestry Day, March 21, was inaugurated 1971 at the 23rd General Assembly of European Confederation of Agriculture, “to increase the public awareness among communities about the values, significance and contributions of the forests to balance the life cycle on the earth…. Loss of the forests enhances the loss of inhabitant animal species to the forest. Deforestation imbalances the balance of natural climate which lead to the global warming by increasing the CO2 and decreasing the O2 percentage all across the world.”

Since 1970, Earth Day supports environmental protection,  and was supported by the  2016 acknowledging the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference historic draft climate protection treaty.  Earth Day was first celebrated on the first day of spring (northern hemisphere) March 21, 1970, however, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson initiated Earth Day on April 22 in America.  March for Science is also commemorated April 22, and the People’s Climate Mobilization follows on April 29.

Paul D. Tinari organized Canada’s Earth Day September 11, 1980 during Earth Day Week beginning Sept 6, 1980.

Trees have a way of bringing people together to celebrate a shared heritage. With over 80% of Canadians living in cities and towns, our urban forests are vital to our quality of life, and this recognition will go a long way toward ensuring that they continue to be planted and cared for in urban locations… For every person who stops and thinks about how they can help grow and maintain trees, Canada becomes a cleaner, better country.Cision Canada

The United Nations celebrates International Mother Earth Day on April 22 “to remind each of us that the Earth and its Ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance….The Earth and its ecosystems are our home. In order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth.”

World Environment Day is celebrated June 5.

“World Environment Day reminds us that we have a global responsibility to safeguard our environment – and that each of us has a role to play to preserve and protect it.”

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister

in 1922, Richard St. Barbe Baker began the International Tree Foundation with Forest Guides, or Forest Scouts, called the Watu wa Miti, or Men of the Trees who… “promised before N’gai, the High God, that they would protect the native forest, plant ten native trees each year, and take care of trees everywhere.”

For more information:
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page:
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”. Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

“I believe in the Oneness of Mankind and all living things and the interdependence of each and all.” Richard St. Barbe Baker


Saskatoon Green Infrastructure Program

You can gauge a country’s wealth, its real wealth, by its tree cover.
Richard St. Barbe Baker

Green Infrastructure “is a network providing the “ingredients” for solving urban and climatic challenges by building with nature”. The main components of this approach include stormwater management, climate adaptation, less heat stress, more biodiversity, food production, better air quality, sustainable energy production, clean water and healthy soils, as well as the more anthropocentric functions such as increased quality of life through recreation and providing shade and shelter in and around towns and cities.”[*]

“The fate of an individual or a nation will always be determined by the degree of his or its harmony with the forces and laws of Nature and the universe.  Man is not alone in the universe but is surrounded by sources of power, harmony and knowledge.  The fullness of life depends upon man’s harmony with the totality of the natural cosmic laws.  Our individual evolution is a job that has to be carried on day by day by each individual himself.  It is a livelong task.”Richard St. Barbe Baker

“Green infrastructure refers to any natural or built systems that provide ecological benefits and help to maintain pre-development hydrology. It encompasses natural features like streams, wetlands, forests, and parks, as well as engineered systems that manage urban runoff.”[***]

The West Swale is an important pre-requIsite for the City of Saskatoon, as this low lying area protects both agricultural and urban neighbourhoods from flooding. The afforestation area also sequesters carbon emissions, improving the air. The soil and water quality also benefits from the woodland environment.

Environmental benefits include ”

  • Increase carbon sequestration
  • improve air quality
  • additional recreational space
  • efficient land use
  • flood protection
  • drinking water source protection
  • replenish groundwater
  • improve watershed health
  • protect or restore wildlife habitat
  • reduce sewer overflow events
  • restore impaired waters
  • meet regulatory requirements for receiving waters”[**]

By utilizing green infrastructure, the city of Saskatoon has an ecological base for sound social, economic, and environmental health and well-being. In the case of the West Swale and the afforestation areas, the green infrastructure, is supported by wetlands, so it may be also referred to as blue or “blue-green” infrastructure.

Economic benefits include; ”

  • reduce hard infrastructure construction costs
  • maintain aging infrastructure
  • increase land values
  • encourage economic development
  • reduce energy consumption and costs
  • increase life cycle cost savings”[**]

The afforestation area is a splendid example of urban forestry at its finest, and has the capacity to reduce energy usage costs, and may help to manage storm water and runoff. Physical activity and the reduction of stress are among the health benefits of urban green space.

Social benefits are: ”

  • “Establish urban greenways
  • provide pedestrian and bicycle access [recreation]
  • create attractive streetscapes and rooftops that enhance livability and urban green space
  • educate the public about their role in stormwater management
  • urban heat island mitigation”[**]

The meeting on May 29, 2017 showed a forward thinking City of Saskatoon embracing concepts of green infrastructure which will be applied to the long range planning of the Blairmore Sector Plan. Such a proposal brings the green infrastructure home for the neighbourhood planning of the city. According to the report, “the purpose of the Green Infrastructure is to develop an integrated approach to planning for and maintaining a sustainable, biodiverse city by considering natural and supportive areas as part of an ecological system.” As the Blairmore Sector Plan moves forward, natural and naturalized areas will be duly inventoried. As the plan develops, the community will be engaged for public engagement.

With a green infrastructure program, communities unite in an effort to preserve watersheds, wildlife habitats, and parks, to better protect the environment maintaining wildlife diversity while benefiting quality of life, helping people to connect with nature, increase health benefits of spending time in nature, while having access to clean air, and water. Once fully developed, the green infrastructure program have the potential for supporting both recreational and conservation activities that will have positive impacts far beyond the immediate community.

“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver”. ~Martin Luther


FCM – Green Municipal Fund What we fund

** Green Infrastructure Case Studies Municipal Policies for Managing Stormwater and Green Infrastructure (EPA 841 F 10 004)

Green Infrastructure | Help Build Sustainable Communities ESRI

Infrastructure Canada – Green Infrastructure. Government of Canada Investing in Green Infrastructure.

Green Infrastructure Webcase Series. United STates Environmental Protection Agency.

Green Infrastructure Partnership Launches ‘Celebrating Green Infrastructure Program’ [For further information on Green Infrastructure and success stories in British Columbia – Guidance Documents and Resources The partnership for Water Sustainability in BC video]
* Green Infrastructure Wikipedia.

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

*** Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program. Urban Runoff and Green Infrastructure. Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program 2016.

What is Green Infrastructure? United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature.  Its presence is essential to earth as an organism.  It is the first condition of all life; it is the “Skin” of the earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page:

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker





1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“. “I don’t have a bucket list but my bike-it list is a mile long.” – unknown” For the recreation buff