This October 16th you are invited to show appreciation for trees and all that they do for us. The second National Tree Hugger Day is organized by American Forests and IKEA. American Forests, the nation’s oldest conservation group, and IKEA are inviting community groups, students, youth leaders and nature enthusiasts everywhere to take part in Tree Hugger Day on October 16th, 2010. Take time for a quick and fun gesture of appreciation for all that trees do for us. The idea for Tree Hugger Day first arose as a way to celebrate the million trees planted by IKEA and its customers in American Forests’ Global ReLeaf projects. Everyone can participate!
Report from Tree Hugger Day 2009Why Would I Hug a Tree?
Think about the people in your life who have done so much for you. Mothers, fathers, grandparents; they each have special days set aside for you to show how very much you appreciate them. But trees, the lungs of our planet, which contribute in so many ways to make our communities and our earth livable, are often overlooked. Take some time on this day to show that you appreciate all that trees and forests do for us. Hug a tree and see what comes of it: a smile, a good feeling, maybe even the urge to become more involved in greening the planet!
What Can I Do?
.Tree Hugger Day October 16, 2010About Tree Hugger DayYou Can Help2009 Tree Hugger DayWhat Else Can I Do?How Can I Be Involved?
We’re glad you asked! The Tree Hugger events that will take place on October 16th will be varied, but the one thing that they will all have in common is this: hugging trees. Yes, really. We want you to hug a tree as a quick and fun gesture of appreciation. Here are some tips to organize your own Tree Hugger Day event.
Your event can be as large or small, modest or extravagant, structured or free-form as you want to make it. It can even be one part of an event or meeting that is already planned for October 16th or soon after. We’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with. We hope that you are successful in making this gesture of appreciation with us, and that you have a lot of fun doing so!
Creating Your Event
Step 1: Brainstorm
Who do you want to get involved in this event? Your friends? People on the block, or in the neighborhood? Your local school, or scout troop? You will need to know who you will be reaching out to before you can think about how to do it.
Where would be a good place for your event? For a few friends and neighbors your backyard will work. If it’s going to be bigger, consider a neighborhood park, a schoolyard or auditorium, or an area at a town hall, church or community center.
What kinds of activities would you like to have at your event? Try to have at least one activity geared towards each age and interest group that you are going to invite.
Why? You already know why you wanted to host a Tree Hugger event. But don’t forget that you’ll want others to know those reasons too. That’s what this day is about; sharing your appreciation for trees and forests not just with nature, but with each other. Do you also want to raise awareness about environmental issues? Generate interest to plant some trees? Keep trees from being cut down?
Step 2: Plan
Time is short, so get started! Contact potential partners and determine what they will contribute. Contact venue and determine availability. Obtain any materials you might need. Appoint a friend or volunteer to be in charge of each one. Promote your event.
Tree Hugging: The Event
This should be the centerpiece of each Tree Hugger Day event. It’s a simple, fun gesture to show that we appreciate all that trees and forests do for us. It can also win you a variety of prizes through American Forests’ Tree Hugger photo contest. If you’re expecting a lot of people at your event, try a particularly large tree with a group hug. You can also group hug a number of trees at once; perhaps an entire row or grove. Be creative!
We want to make sure that no trees or people get hurt on Tree Hugger Day. This may not be a good time to encourage tree climbing. It is a good time to promote tree care and fall activities such as watering and mulching. Be aware of what is on and around the trees you are hugging. Do not choose trees that have poison oak, ivy, or sumac growing on or around them. Use care not to trample landscaping and flowers beds.
Ask For Help
Don’t forget to ask for help in promoting your event. If you’re working with an organization or group to put this event on, ask them to do their part in promoting it. Do the same with any vendors or businesses that may be supporting the event. Give them flyers to put up in their stores, and remind them to mention it to their customers.
Make It Official
Invite your Mayor, school principal, or other local official to participate. Ask them to make October 17 the official Tree Hugger Day.
Tree Hugging as an Add-on Activity
If there is not time to organize a separate Tree Hugger Day event, ask those hosting other events or meetings if they will include a Tree Hugger activity as part of it. It need not take long. It can be fun and plant the seed for a larger event next year.
Take a short break during a community clean-up or tree planting event and Hug a Tree. Or take everyone outside for a hug after book club, or as part of a garden club, scouts or community meeting. It doesn’t have to be October 16th, but do it soon and submit photos and let us know how it goes.