J. Sterling Morton, a pioneer during the late 19th century, witnessed how important trees were to the then-territory of Nebraska. Trees were needed as windbreaks to keep soil in place, as well as for fuel, building materials, and shade from the sun. Morton began to advocate the need for tree planting, and inspired people throughout the state to nurture and celebrate trees-so much so that in 1872 the first Arbor Day was observed in Nebraska. It is estimated that more than one million trees were planted on that day. Today, this legacy lives on as we celebrate National Arbor Day each year on the last Friday in April.

The concepts of planting, nurturing, and celebrating trees live on through the Arbor Day Foundation. Established in 1972, it has grown to become the largest non-profit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and partners. The Arbor Day Foundation promotes the importance of trees and their impact on our lives year-round through educational programs and replanting initiatives.

Publix has collaborated with the Arbor Day Foundation for this important cause. Keep reading to find out more about how the Arbor Day Foundation and Publix celebrate the importance of trees all year long.

Arbor Day Foundation

The Arbor Day Foundation 10_Post_1_AH_ArborDay_bodyimage_1works to make our world cleaner and greener by planting trees where they’re needed most. Programs like Energy-Saving Trees and Community Canopy help municipalities by providing free trees to reduce energy bills, improve air quality, and aid in the management of storm water. Tree City USA helps provide the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees; more than 3,400 communities are involved in this movement.

The Arbor Day Foundation also drives replanting initiatives of millions of trees each year in forests, preserves, and watersheds across the United States. This year alone in the Southeast:

  • 44,000 trees were planted in the Sunnyhill Preserve and Emeralda Marsh in Florida as part of replanting and watershed restoration efforts.
  • 61,000 trees were planted in the Little Orange Creek Preserve in Florida for watershed restoration efforts.
  • 87,000 trees were planted in the Seminole State Forest in Florida for wildlife habitat restoration efforts.
  • 250,000 trees were planted in the Upper Altamaha Watershed in Georgia for wildlife habitat restoration efforts.
  • 59,020 trees were planted in the Whitehall Game Land in North Carolina for wildlife habitat restoration efforts.

You can visit the Arbor Day Foundation’s website to view an interactive map detailing their replanting initiatives across the United States.



To help fight the deterioration of watersheds in our home state of Florida, Publix supports the Arbor Day Foundation’s efforts to clean and restore watersheds in the Sunnyhill Preserve, the Emeralda Marsh, and the Little Orange Creek Preserve. These areas are home to many species of fish and wildlife, but due to loss of vegetation and lack of natural filtration, the quality of water has declined. As a result, the fish and wildlife that depend on the watershed have suffered as well.

Together, we have planted 105,000 Longleaf Pine trees along these watersheds to protect and restore these critical waterways. The trees will help prevent harmful run-off, provide natural filtration, and allow for storage of cleaner water. This absorption and filtering of water will increase groundwater as clean water feeds into aquifers that serve thousands of square miles. These trees will also help clean the air we breathe. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, over the next 50 years almost 2,000 tons of air pollution will be eliminated due to the planting of these trees


If you would like to help support the Arbor Day Foundation, or learn more about their history, programs, and initiatives, you can visit their site for more information. You can also visit our sustainability website to learn more of Publix’s sustainability efforts in our stores and in our communities. Stay tuned next month as we discuss just how important watersheds are for the environment and for providing us with clean water.

Alec H.

Written by

Alec H. started his career with Publix in 2012, serving in many roles in the store before transitioning into corporate first as an intern and eventually as a full-time associate on the Social Media team. He loves to bring you behind-the-scenes looks at our products, especially because he gets to learn something new each time he writes a new blog, too. Alec’s favorite holiday is Halloween, which is fitting since watching scary movies are is one of his favorite pastimes. When he’s not writing for the Publix Checkout or interacting with our customers on social media, you’ll find him playing with his two dogs (Buster and Diesel), jamming on his ukulele, playing video and board games, or running on the beautiful streets of St. Petersburg, FL.

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