I’ve been working on a list by month of events that regularly happen in Houston, Harris County, and surrounding. As I was trying to think of things that normally occur or are celebrated in April, I thought of Arbor Day. Imagine my surprise, while perusing the websites of some of our favorite parks and arboretums, to find that most of the Greater Houston Area actually commemorates Arbor Day in January!
So, I did a little research. According to Texas A&M Forest Service:
The official Arbor Day is held the last Friday in April. Due to the diversity of this state, Arbor Day is celebrated in Texas communities anytime from November through April. Houston and many of its neighboring communities continue to observe Arbor Day on the third Friday in January. In south Texas, many cities celebrate Arbor Day during Arbor Week, the second week in February. Dallas recently decided to break with tradition altogether and celebrate Arbor Day in mid-November.
Leave it to Texas to be truly independent! Here are a few events this month to help you celebrate and serve. Please check the links for contact information, how to register, and age-restrictions.
- Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 19 and 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center ~ Celebrate Texas
Arbor Day by adopting a tree! Take home a free sapling, and get information on tree planting and care. Exhibits and activities highlight local forest plants. Webelos can fulfill all requirements for the Forester badge by completing a self-guided activity.
- Saturday, January 26th, Houston Bar Association Arbor Day Tree Planting at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center ~ Join us to celebrate Arbor Day 2013 by planting 1000 trees at the Arboretum, which lost about 50% of its tree canopy due to the recent drought.
- Saturday, January 26th at 8am, Houston Parks & Recreation ~ When I contacted them, I was told that this year’s planting would be at Memorial Park. Young children are welcome as long as they are with parents. Bring gloves & shovels. To pre-register, please contact Shelby Oneika: Oneika.email@example.com
If you would rather venture out during the week, consider a nature hike. A local city park would be a great start. City of Houston Parks list can be found here. Residents of Harris County can find a list of parks by precinct:
We really enjoyed spending a day at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. A visit to a Texas State Park or Sam Houston National Forest will offer a wider variety of botanical viewing and an all day experience. If you aren’t able to get out of the house, here’s a video produced by Texas A&M Forestry Service on planting seedlings.
Want to explore even more this month? See what else there is to do in January.