The inaugural Arbor Day in Australia was held in Adelaide’s south parklands on 20 June 1889 following the first ‘arbor day’ in Nebraska in the United States in 1872. The proposal was backed by several South Australians, including parliamentarian John Cockburn, Bureau of Agriculture Secretary Albert Molineux, Conservator of Forests John Ednie Brown and Friedrich EHW Krichauff, a prominent advocate of scientific agriculture and forestry. Concerned about the rapid loss of vegetation across the South Australian landscape and the need to conserve soils and assist pastoral sustainability, Brown prepared a report on the ‘desirableness for the establishment of an Arbor Day’. After a parade of some 5000 Adelaide school children and dignitaries, a parade of the participants from Victoria Square, the governor, Lord Kintore, and his wife, planted a Bunya Bunya (Araucaria bidwillii) and a Weeping Scotch Elm (Ulmus pendula) that grow today. Representative groups of pupils planted trees in designated areas. While this event has not continued, 100 trees were planted at an Arbor Day centenary ceremony on 20 June 1989 near the original site.

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Catherine Manning says:

We might need to talk to you about some new articles for the site Daina! Thanks for adding that info.

Daina Pocius's picture
Daina Pocius says:

The first Arbor Day at One Tree Hill was held on the 5th August 1890 with the students of Uley and Precolumb schools. After the tree planting celebrations often followed. On August 9, 1895 at One Tree Hill, the planting was followed by a cricket match. Tea was provided in the church, and afterwards entertainment was provided. Those taking part being the Miss Riggs, and Mrs. F. W. Thomas, M. F. Rhodes, Hambridge, and Doley.
In 1935, the children of the Precolumb and Uley schools spent their Arbor Day on the McGilp recreation park. In the morning the scholars were addressed by their teachers N. Robinson and C. Fenner, and practical work was done by planting trees along the east boundary of the park. The work was followed by a lunch provided by parents and friends. The afternoon was devoted to a sports meeting, the school committee being in charge. The day closed with afternoon tea, and an orange scramble among the children.

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Catherine Manning says:

Hi Belinda, if you e-mail it will be passed on to the appropriate people.

Belinda Woite's picture
Belinda Woite says:

I am currently planning a community open day (on behald of the NRM and councils) to seek feedback and suggestions to inform the development of a concept plan for the section of Breakout Creek located between Tapleys Hill Road and the outlet. We are distributing invitations next week to this event to be held on 9 May 2015 and would appreciate it if you could add the detail to you website and/or distribute to your members.
Could you please send me the best email address to send this invitation to?
Thank you
Kind regards,

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Adelaide Observer, 22 June 1889

Aitken, R & M Looker (eds), Oxford companion to Australian gardens (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2001)

Brown, JE, ‘Arbor Day in South Australia’, Journal of the Bureau of Agriculture, 1:5, 1889, pp41–2, and 1:6, 1889, pp57–8

Sweeting, R, ‘Arbor Day Centenary 1889–1989’, Landscape Australia, 2, 1989, p193