On April 29 the Virginia Department of Forestry, an organization driven by science and run by scientists, will award the Town of Middleburg its Sixteenth consecutive “Tree City USA” award.  It is given for policies and real-world work that provides pleasure and benefit to not only all who live here but friends and neighbors as well.   It is recognition in which we all take pride, and which we display proudly for all who enter our Town.

The tradition dates from Spain, first in 1594 and then again, during the Napoleonic Wars, in 1805.

In the United States, the formal designation dates from Sterling Morton’s Nebraska City, Nebraska, “Arbor Day” in 1872.  Legend has it that over a million trees were planted across Nebraska on April 10 of that year.  National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April.

This Arbor Day, following as it did the events of Earth Day, 2017, is especially significant.

Not only regulations designed to protect our forests and streams and the wildlife they support, but the very funding of science supporting forestry and all its sister disciplines, is threatened.

On Earth Day scientists all over the world felt compelled to stand up and be counted.

Marches protesting not only the abandonment of regulations and defunding of research but denial of the value of science and scientists took place, across the globe.

We applaud both the Town Council and staff of Middleburg for their ongoing and enthusiastic support of Arbor Day and its principles and the scientists and friends of science all over the world who spoke up and spoke out on Earth Day.