Arbor Day celebrations at Parkin Hall School, Coomandook, South Australia c. 1914
Image courtesy State Library of South Australia, B59129
Arbor Day originated in Nebraska, USA in 1872 and was initiated by Julius Sterling Morton, who hoped to embed tree planting into the everyday lives of Americans. On the first Arbor Day in America, on 10 April, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted.
On 20 June, 1889 Australia conducted its first formal Arbor Day in Adelaide, with the intention of teaching school children both how to plant trees, and to appreciate their role in the environment and landscape. Children paraded with their school bands from Victoria Square and planted trees in the Adelaide Park Lands, the intention was to give them ‘a lesson on the value of arboriculture’ (The Register, 20 June 1889).