January 22 is Florida Arbor Day at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach from noon to 4:00pm. I prefer to think of this day as Tree Appreciation Day; a time to ponder the gifts trees give us and to learn more ways to give back to them and to our planet. Trees are the thankless providers of the Earth giving us and other creatures beauty, food, habitat, and oxygen. They control erosion, provide building materials and energy, cool our cities and save energy. Trees also provide healing therapy as evidenced by patients who have views of trees outside their windows healing faster and with fewer complications. Studies have also shown that trees aid concentration and reduce mental fatigue and that children show fewer symptoms of ADHD when they are exposed to trees and nature. What better reasons to attend this event and bring kids too?
The celebrity appearance will be Smokey the Bear from the Florida Forest Service with a message of fire prevention. Woodsy Owl from the United States Forest Service has not confirmed yet but still sends his messages “Give a hoot- don’t pollute! and “Lend a hand- care for the land!” The Palm Beach County Library will also provide Storytime in the Garden. There will be other activities and exhibits throughout the garden from various environmental organizations as well as guided garden tours of the impressive tree collection at Mounts.
If you are inspired by the ceremonial tree planting at the event to add a new tree to your own landscape, you can claim your free seedling or purchase larger trees or plants from the nursery. The event is free to members or $5 for non-members.