Join us during Arbor Week to celebrate trees
In the spirit of belonging, Speak for the Trees, Boston, is proud to announce a series of events to celebrate trees and all they give us. We hope you can join us either in-person or online to acknowledge, thank, and honor trees. Join us from April 24 – April 30 for a week’s worth of celebration of trees in Boston. After all, trees are critical for our well being; they provide us with clean air, connection, cooler temperatures, beauty, character, a feeling of home, perspective, and strong community.
Before we begin
Before we welcome America’s Arbor Day, we want to pause and acknowledge that the celebration and reverence of trees did not begin in 1872 with white settlers in Nebraska creating a holiday. The Indigenous people of what is now Boston, Massachusetts, have long celebrated the power and importance of trees and stewarded this land, in part through trees, for hundreds of generations. We have much to learn from the deep knowledge still held within these communities. As we enter a week of national celebration of trees, we extend gratitude for the opportunity to work and meet on this sacred land. We extend our respect to citizens of these Nations – the Massachusett, the Wampanoag, and Nipmuc Peoples – and their ancestors who have lived here for over five hundred generations, and to all Indigenous people. We also affirm that this acknowledgement is insufficient. It does not undo the harm that has been done and continues to be perpetrated now against Indigenous people, their land, and their water. Our work is committed, in part, to dismantle the systems and heal the pain from this history. In whatever small part, we hope that our work together to celebrate trees can assist in this process.
What is Arbor Day anyways?
When settlers first moved into the Nebraska Territory, the lack of trees was significant and surprising to them. In response, the very first Arbor Day was celebrated on April 10, 1872 with over 1 million trees planted. By 1920, 45 states were celebrating Arbor Day, and today Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states. A unique, relevant, and emboldening holiday, Arbor Day is a statement of our hope and commitment to our collective future. And, just like 150 years ago, it remains a time to gather together to celebrate trees – and the larger environment – for their importance.
Our events include….
- On Friday, April 22 from 10:00-2:00, Speak for the Trees and WS Development are individually bagging 1,400 seedlings that will be distributed throughout Boston during ArborWeek. Click here to sign up to bag seedlings.
- Kicking off Arbor Week on Sunday, April 24 from 10:30-12:00, Forest Therapy Guide Tam Willey will lead us in slowing down and awakening our senses during a guided therapeutic experience throughout the Arnold Arboretum. Register and join Tam for forest bathing.
- Also taking place on Sunday, April 24 from 1:30-3:00, mushroom forager Maria Pinto will guide us through an interactive, educational, and tasty mushroom foraging experience. If you’d like to learn more about mushrooms, trees’ best friends, this is the event for you. Click here to forage mushrooms with Maria.
- On Monday, April 25 from 6:00-7:00, Judith Foster, founder of HERO Nurturing Center Inc., Jeff Perrin, Professor of Psychology at Lesley University, and Jodyann Hanson, a Clinical Mental Health Counseling student will discuss the power of trees and nature to heal the body and spirit, understood through the lens of their personal, professional and academic experiences. Join us for a provocative virtual discussion on the healing power of nature.
- On Tuesday, April 26 from 12:00-1:00, Dr. Wendy Makoons Geniusz, Professor of Ojibwe Language at the University of Wisconsin will present the amazing being of Nookomis Giizhik, allowing us to see the world through a new lens. Dr. Geniusz is and author and editor of several works on Ojibwe culture. Join us virtually to learn about Nookomis Giizhik, Grandmother Cedar.
- Also taking place on Tuesday, April 26 from 4:00-8:00pm is our Fundfare event with Wahlburgers. Order a Wahlburgers dinner (in-person or online) and up to 20% of your purchase will support our work at Speak for the Trees. Click here to download the flyer before you head to Wahlburgers.
- On Wednesday, April 27 from 4:30-6:00, our Executive Director, David Meshoulam, will be the final speaker at Boston College’s “Rewilding Planet Earth” series. He will be discussing “Trees as Boundary Objects.” The event on “Trees as Boundary Objects” is in person and registration is not required.
- On Thursday, April 28 from 6:00-7:00, Speak for the Trees MassCEC intern and Simmons University Grad Student Roxanne James will share the results of her research on the health and racial equity of the Boston urban tree canopy, particularly in under-canopied neighborhoods. Register to join for a talk about relationship between trees, people, and health.
- On Friday, April 29, writers Fay Ferency, Jess Rizkallah and Letta Neely will read aloud their tree-centered poetry, guide participants in a brief poetry writing workshop, and help participants craft their own poetry creations. Join us at the Seaport to listen to and write poetry together.
- On Saturday, April 30 from 10:00- 12:30, Speak for the Trees will be tabling at a family-friendly educational fair all about extreme heat resilience in Boston. Come to chat with the Wicked Hot Mystic team and contribute to a collaborative art project about extreme heat. And make sure to stop by the SFTT table! Join us at the Museum of Science.
Yes, we’re also giving away free trees and seedlings
With support and in partnership with Natixis Advisors, on Saturday, April 30 from 10:00-2:00, we’re back at Nubian Square in Roxbury for Savor the Square. We will be giving away 75 free trees for community members to plant at their homes. Reserve your tree in Roxbury today!
We’re also collaborating with community partners across the city for our seedling giveaways. If you want to take home and plant a FREE seedling, visit any of the following seedling giveaway events with:
- Hyde Park Presbyterian Church on 4/22 from 4:00-5:30
- Holy Temple Church on 4/23 from 11:00-4:00
- Emerald Necklace Conservancy on 4/23 from 12:00-1:30
- Boston Little Saigon on 4/24 from 10:00-11:30
- Eco Art Club at Tufts University on 4/27 from 12:00-1:30
- Church of Christ of Roxbury on 4/27 from 1:00-2:30
- Visit Nubian Square on 4/29 from 1:00-2:30
- WE Tree Boston on 4/29 from 1:00-4:00
- Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services on 4/29 from 2:00-5:30
- Keep Hyde Park Beautiful and Mothers Out Front on 4/30 from 10:00-12:00
- Mothers Out Front Roslindale on 4/30 from 11:00-1:00
- Mothers Out Front West Roxbury on 4/30 from 11:00-1:00
- Dorchester Food Co-op on 4/30 from 12:00-1:30
- Church of the Covenant on 4/30 from 12:00-1:30
- Uvida Shop- North End on 4/30 from 12:00-1:30
- Uvida Shop- East Boston on 4/30 from 12:00-1:30
Visit our Seedling Giveaway Events Landing Page to learn more about these events.
Other ways to get involved
Walk/Roll For the Trees
Throughout the entire Arbor Week, we’re also hosting a week-long experience “Walk/Roll for the Trees in Your Neighborhood During Arbor Week”. This is a self-led walk/roll where you choose your own route and get to know and share the trees in your neighborhood through an online platform. Individuals sign up to walk/roll as many miles as they can throughout Arbor Week and ask friends and neighbors to pledge for every mile. Anyone can join in the fun, winners will receive Patagonia swag, and all proceeds will support Speak for the Trees’ work to celebrate, plant, and care for trees in Boston. Click here to register to walk for the trees.
From our friends at Cambridge Naturals: “We believe that the health of the environment and the health of our communities are inextricably linked and have strived to make this a core tenant of our business model for over 48 years. On Arbor Day, Friday April 29, through Sunday May 1st we’ll be donating 5% of our daily sales from our Brighton location to Speak for the Trees Boston whose mission is to celebrate, preserve, and plant trees in Boston and works to increase green space and reduce tree inequity across the city. Just as we believe that everyone in our community should have access to the best choices in natural wellness products, we believe the same is true for trees and we’re proud to be partnering with Speak for the Trees Boston this Arbor Day.”
Stop by the stores during Arbor Week, where a portion of your purchase will go to SFTT and you’ll be able to learn more about trees and tree equity.
Thank you to our generous sponsors