“Vancouver’s Arbor Day – Why, and How”

Learn about the history and goals of the Arbor Day movement within Vancouver through John Davidson’s 1929 presidential address to the Vancouver Natural History Society.
The following text is a faithful and precise transcription of the original text and includes errors in spelling, grammar or punctuation present in the original.

Prof. John Davidson, F.L.S., F.B.S.E.

12th Presidential Address to the Vancouver National History Society
October 23rd, 1929

Arbor Day: (What it is)

One day devoted to a consideration of the usefulness of trees to man. The beginning or end of a week devoted to the planting of trees or shrubs on boulevards, parks, school grounds or other areas for the beautification of the city.

If citizens are given encouragement in this work, we foster a co-operative community spirit and provide an outlet for the enthusiasm of those citizens who have some pride in Vancouver and wish to make it more beautiful.

In schools, Arbor Day is the climax of a series of lessons or recitations on trees, and where possible a demonstration of tree planting is given on the school grounds, or the grounds of some adjacent school. This gives the children a feeling of responsibility regarding the care of trees on school grounds and boulevards. If this spirit is inculcated in the children of today, the generation of tomorrow can be trusted to look after the conservation of our forest resources better than we have done. They will have more sympathy with all efforts for the prevention of forest fires, and will be enthusiastic regarding the reforestation of devastated and depleted areas. They will not only protect our water sheds from depletion, but will seek to create new forests and new water storage areas by the afforestation of lands which at present are rapidly disappearing by erosion. This afforestation, besides conserving the soil will greatly lessen the tendency of river floods with their devastation of valuable agricultural land, accompanied by loss of crops and livestock, such as we have seen in the lower Fraser Valley, and which almost annually threatens the farmers in that region.