Monday, January 8, 2018

Arbor Day's Observance by Draper

       The primary purpose of the legislature in establishing "Arbor Day," was to develop and stimulate in the children of the Commonwealth a love and reverence for Nature as revealed in trees and shrubs and flowers. In the language of the statute, to encourage the planting, protection and preservation of trees and shrubs" was believed to be the most effectual way in which to lead our children to love Nature and reverence Nature's God, and to see the uses to which these natural objects may be put in making our school grounds more healthful and attractive.
       The object sought may well command the most thoughtful consideration and the painstaking efforts of school officers, teachers, and pupils in every school district, and in every educational institution and of all others who are interested in beautifying the schools and the homes of the state.
       It will be well not only to plant trees and shrubs and vines and flowers where they may contribute to pleasure and comfort, but also to provide for their perpetual care, and to supplement such work by exercises which will lead all to a contemplation of the subject in its varied relations and resultant influences. It is fitting that trees should be dedicated to eminent scholars, educators, statesmen, soldiers, historians or poets, or to favorite teachers or pupils in the different localities.
       The opportunity should not be lost, which is afforded by the occasion, for illustrating and enforcing the thought that the universe, its creation, its arrangement and all of its developing processes are not due to human planning or oversight, but to the infinite wisdom and power of God.
       Our school exercises, and particularly those of an unusual character, should be interspersed with selections, songs, and acts which will inspire patriotism. by A. S. Draper, 1909.

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