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The Arbor Day Foundation with a mission "to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees" was founded in 1972 by John Rosenow. The foundation is supported by donations, selling trees and merchandise, and by corporate sponsors. The Arbor Day holiday was founded in 1872 in Nebraska City, Nebraska, by J. Sterling Morton.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization.
In Nebraska City the Foundation manages Arbor Day Farm, a National Historic Landmark, the estate of Arbor Day founder J. Sterling Morton, as an educational visitor attraction; John Rosenow oversaw the construction of Lied Lodge and Conference Center, which is dedicated to meetings focusing on trees and conservation. Today the property is home to the Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure, featuring the Lied Greenhouse, Woodland Pavilion, Tree House Trail; its Nature's Classroom, Exploratory Trail, and the planned Exploratory building are being developed in collaboration with the Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.
The Tree City USA program, which is co-sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service, has grown to include 3080 towns, cities, and military bases in all 50 states.
The foundation encourages communities across the nation to become Tree City USAs by meeting four standards:
The Nature Explore program is a program designed to help educators, parents, and caregivers connect young children with nature. The program has grown steadily to provide activities and projects for preschool through third grade as well as give educators an opportunity to build and certify a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom using safe, durable, natural components. Children experience enhanced learning and development as they are provided a daily connection with nature in Nature Explore Classrooms at early childhood education centers, elementary schools, and other public spaces across the country.
Tree Campus USA colleges and universities strive to engage their student body as well as their broader community to establish and sustain healthy community forests for the benefit of current and future residents.