Washington State Governor Jay Inslee officially proclaimed October as “Urban and Community Forestry Month” in Washington for the sixth consecutive year. And with plenty of moisture and crisp, cool fall weather, autumn will be a great time to plant trees. Check out the proclamation here.

Several communities celebrate their Arbor Day in October and, yes, you can proclaim and celebrate the “tree planter’s holiday” at any time of the year. Other cities celebrate with a fall festival or community tree planting event. How will your community celebrate Urban and Community Forestry Month?

In celebration, the state departments of Enterprise Services (DES) and Natural Resources (DNR) are partnering to plant 100 new trees on the Capitol Campus between October 2019 and April 2020. DNR will purchase many of the trees, and DES will plant and maintain them.

The partnership dovetails with the 100-themed “Centennial Challenge” issued by the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) in recognition of the organization’s 100th anniversary. NASF is a non-profit organization made up of state foresters from across the country and exists to support the states’ delivery of programs, such as urban forestry, that promote responsible management and protection of forests on non-federal lands.

The first of these new 100 trees will be planted in conjunction with an event to celebrate Urban Forestry Month on the Washington State Capitol campus on Friday, October 18th. The public is invited to join the event at noon, at the corner of Capitol Way and Sid Snyder Ave. S.W.

The agencies are also partnering to host a virtual event to honor Tree City USA communities and urban forests throughout the state via social media. Look for #UrbanForestry, #OlyCapitol, #treecityusa and #WAtrees.  Residents and businesses in tree city communities also are encouraged to use the hashtags and share shout-outs as well as photos of their favorite urban forests.

Throughout the month of October, DNR’s social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook will feature tree care tips, suggested trees to consider planting, and info on the many benefits of trees.

Trees are a gift to us all, so come out and join us on the 18th to celebrate that, or host your own event where you live!

Happy Urban & Community Forestry Month!