November 16, 2014

Arbor Day - SC, FL, & LA

Arbor Day in South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana

I recently had someone ask, “Why it is that, if Druids are so connected with trees, why don’t they seem to be honoring them on Arbor Day.”

What a great question. My initial response was, “Well, yes we do celebrate Arbor Day.”

Arbor Day Foundation Logo
The Second Hallmark of Keltrian Druids applies to this question — “We revere the Spirits of Nature.” This hallmark addresses our deep resonance and relationship with nature, which is a common thread held by many druids. Developing relationships with all living things is significant in Keltrian practice. As such, developing a relationship with trees is an important activity in our daily lives. We use the symbolism of the tree in our tree meditation and other practices. Establishing a relationship with a specific tree or groves of trees is an important aspect of our practice. Recognizing the importance of trees in our lives is a characteristic of both Keltrian Druids and the Arbor Day Foundation. Because different states have different dates for Arbor Day, the Henge has never proposed a specific date to celebrate Arbor Day nor has it suggested specific activities for service, however, participating in Arbor Day activities would be considered “service to community” as a Keltrian Druid service commitment.

Over the years various groves have done Arbor Day types of activities with their groves and individual members have provided service individually. As an example, back in the 1990s I organized my office to plant 13 trees around the parking lot of my work office. It was a great success and many of those original trees still stand although some of them have been replaced (due to infant tree mortality). Likewise, I was a member of my city’s Tree Board for several years and used that position to promote trees in our city and helped protect the city's ancient trees from destruction.

So yes, Keltrian Druids revere trees and many individuals and groves have activities to directly support trees and Arbor Day activities in their individual states (or countries).

The next Arbor Day celebration is South Carolina’s, which is the First Friday in December.  Then come Florida and Louisiana, which both celebrate the 3rd Friday in January. So, if you are in these states it is a great time to plan a individual, group, or grove activities that promote trees. You might do so in conjunction with another group or plan your own activity. The Arbor Day Foundation has some great ideas for activities.  Don’t know when your state’s Arbor Day occurs, check the ADF (Arbor Day Foundation) dates page for your state's dates and links to local activities.

BaldCypress BG
Cabbage Palm at sunrise (2969219217)
Cabbage Palmetto
Sabal Palm

By the way, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina’s state trees are Baldcypress, Cabbage Palmetto, and Sabal Palm. Can you match the state with the State Tree?

Answer Here.

/|\ Tony