Arbor Day

Arbor Day is Friday, April 30, 2021.

Each year, Delaware celebrates the last Friday in April as “Arbor Day,” an occasion to plant trees and spotlight the numerous natural benefits that trees provide. Established by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska on April 10, 1872, it is estimated that one million trees were planted on the very first Arbor Day.

Arbor Day observances are also an integral part of community recognition programs such as Tree Campus USA, Tree City USA, and Delaware’s Tree Friendly Community Award, as well as qualifying for a financial award from the Urban Grant Program.

In 2019, Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse joined state representatives, Mayor Robin Christiansen, students, teachers, and invited guests at Dover’s Schutte Park on Friday, April 26 to honor Dover’s 30th Anniversary as a Delaware Tree City USA. Winners of the Delaware Forest Service’s annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest were also honored. Ellie Merrick, a fifth-grader at Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville, was named the Overall State Winner of the Arbor Day Poster Contest. The 2019 Poster Contest theme was “Trees are Terrific… in Cities and Towns!”

Ellie Merrick, a 5th-grader at Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville, was the 2019 Arbor Day Poster Winner.

The Delaware Forest Service hosted its annual Arbor Day Ceremony at Dover’s Schutte Park, honoring its school poster contest winners and recognizing Dover’s 30th Year as the First State’s longest-running Tree City USA. The event culminated with the planting of more than 30 large trees at six locations, including a zelkova on the historic Green on State Street. Delaware State University also held its Arbor Day event and celebrated its 8th consecutive year as Delaware’s only certified Tree Campus USA, followed by a ceremonial tree planting on campus.

Check out more Arbor Day event photos on Flickr or at the Delaware Forest Service Facebook Page

Attendees joined Dover city officials to display their new Tree City USA banner for “30 Years” – the most in the First State.
Delaware State University celebrated its 8th consecutive year as a certified Tree Campus USA – the only one in the First State.
Unfazed by the rain, Arbor Day event attendees helped to plant a new zelkova tree on Dover’s historic Green.
State forester Michael A. Valenti and Delaware Forest Service trainer-educator Ashley Melvin congratulated Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen on the its 30th Year as a Tree City USA, the longest of any municipality in the First State.

2019 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners

New Castle
Kindergarten Avery Thomas — Cedar Lane Early Childhood Center, Middletown
Grades 1-2 Lydia Sperati — Jennie Smith Elementary, Newark
Grades 3-4 Patricia Gomes —  All Saints Catholic School, Wilmington
Grade 5 Jayden Fuller  — Brandywine Springs Elementary, Wilmington
Kindergarten Abigail Carter — McIlvaine Early Childhood Center, Magnolia
Grades 1-2 Bella Cooper — Allen Frear Elementary, Camden
Grades 3-4 Sarah Armstrong —  Allen Frear Elementary, Camden
Grade 5 Sophia Yuckel  — Allen Frear Elementary, Camden
Kindergarten Loana Marquez Mendez — H.O. Brittingham Elementary, Milton
Grades 1-2 Zoe Bontrager-Thomas — Mispillion Elementary, Milford
Grades 3-4 Ava Strong — Southern Delaware School of Arts, Selbyville
Grade 5 Ellie Merrick  — Southern Delaware School of Arts, Selbyville

Each poster contest winner received a tree-themed book and a print reproduction of their poster on fine art canvas. Thanks to corporate sponsor Delmarva Power, a free tree planting ceremony will also be held at each winner’s school. In addition, every participating classroom receives free pine seedlings for all participants. Once again this year, students from the Middletown High School FFA Chapter and senior volunteers from the Modern Maturity Center in Dover are wrapping thousands of seedlings to distribute to schoolchildren statewide. Check out the previous year’s winners:

For more information, email: Ashley Melvin

Additional photos of the event can be found at the Delaware Forest Service’s Facebook page:

Past celebrations:

The Delaware Forest Service also sponsors an annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest for Delaware schoolchildren in grades K to 5 for all public, private, home, and charter schools.

Arbor Day Poster Contest

The 2021 theme is “Trees Are Terrific…in Many Wonderful Ways!” The Delaware Forest Service is seeking entries for its annual “Arbor Day School Poster Contest,” open to students in grades K to 5 from all Delaware public, private, home school, after-school, and other organized youth groups. Winning posters will be selected from each county in …