Arbor Day – An Eye on the Bigger Picture

J. Sterling Morton would have been a great partner in the SFI program.

Morton loved nature and as editor of a Nebraska newspaper, he encouraged his readers and civic organizations to plant trees. But he went beyond this. In 1872, as secretary of Nebraska Territory, he proposed Arbor Day as a tree-planting holiday in the United States.

Today, as we celebrate the 139th Arbor Day, just think about the impact Morton has had. Today, the Arbor Day Foundation plants and distributes 10 million trees each year, recognizes more than 3,300 communities through the Tree City USA program, and provides resources for childcare centers, elementary schools, preschools and parks to connect children with nature.

It’s this kind of broad outreach that really can make a difference. It’s something we understand at the SFI program, which is why we go beyond our forest certification standard. Our bigger picture embraces conservation, integrity and community. No other third-party forest certification program in North America can match this broad perspective.

We started with a rigorous third-party forest certification standard, then built on it so we could accomplish even more in the forest, in communities and in the marketplace. We make sure forest landowners have access to the knowledge and training they need to manage forestlands responsibly.

Our unique Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program is yielding benefits by building knowledge, strengthening global supply chains and showing landowners how they can manage forests to enhance wildlife habitat. We give back through our 37 community-based SFI Implementation Committees and our partnerships with Habitat for Humanity affiliates.

The SFI program may have earned international respect but our roots will always be deep in North American communities – addressing their needs and gaining insight from their knowledge.

Thanks to our many partners who help us collectively achieve so much. And thanks to J. Sterling Morton for starting the enthusiasm and vision that is still with us today.

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