Hello Clean Water Raingers,

The weather is finally turning warm and the trees in our area are coming to life with flowers and leaves.  Spring is very beautiful in our watershed!

Flowering Trees at Lake Fayetteville

Flowering trees along the Lake Fayetteville Trail

There is a special day in April that is celebrated in almost every state; it is called Arbor Day.  I have celebrated Arbor Day for many years, but this year I realized that I didn’t know what the name “Arbor Day” meant.  After a little research I learned that “Arbor” is the Latin word for tree, so we are really celebrating “Tree Day”.  Nebraska was the first state to make Arbor Day a state holiday, which took place on April 10, 1872.  That was 142 years ago! So we know that even a long time ago people appreciated trees.

So, you might be asking yourself “why is she writing about trees again?”  Well, I love trees and the Illinois River Watershed Partnership loves trees too. We believe that trees make better water!


All of our Clean Water Raingers out there should be familiar with the Planting Trees song that Captain Marshall sings for us, but just to jog your memory, the illustration below will remind you about some of the good things that trees do for us and our watershed.

Planting Trees Song Lyrics


How will you celebrate Arbor Day?  Well, you could plant a tree.  That would be great!

Another great way to celebrate Arbor Day is by spending a little time just looking at trees; trees in your yard, trees at your school, trees in the park, trees at the lake:

  • Find a tree with rough bark and a tree with smooth bark
  • Notice the different shape of the leaves on different trees
  • Find trees that have flowers and see how many different colors of flowers there are
  • Find a pine tree with pine cones still hanging on it
  • Notice all the birds and animals that live in or use the trees

You are learning about the trees in your watershed and, as Captain Marshall always says, “If you do these things then you’re doing Clean Water Raingers work!”


Flowering Tree Collage

Redbud, Dogwood, Pink Dogwood, and Buckeye Trees

Happy Arbor Day!



Related Posts:

Clean Water Raingers: Protecting Our Water with Trees

Nature’s Classroom: 3 Cheers for Trees!