The Benton County Soil and Water Conservation District would like to thank the community for their continued support of  programs and events.

Due to the current social gathering restrictions, the group’s annual Arbor Day program at the Fowler Park for the county’s second graders in which they each receive a free tree has been cancelled. Thanks to the help of the Town of Fowler and community volunteers, this has been a 16-year tradition.

 “In appreciation of the community’s continuous support we would like to offer these trees free on Tuesday, May 19, at Monarch Commons next door to the Fowler Theatre on 5th Street in Fowler from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” said Chrissie McCutcheon Benton County SWD Program Assistant.

The history of Arbor Day began with J. Sterling Morton who was a journalist and politician from Nebraska who inspired individuals and civic organizations to plant trees. Morton used his influence to promote trees for their agricultural purposes to include windbreaks, preventing soil erosion, and fuel. He hosted the first Arbor Day celebration on April 10th, 1872 in which over one million trees were planted in a single day in the state of Nebraska. Morton’s actions influenced the popularity of organized Arbor Day events nationally. 

Indiana held their first celebration in 1884. 

The event has been held statewide annually since 1896 and is officially celebrated nationally as the last Friday in April.

The Benton County SWCD in coordination with the Big Pine Creek Watershed Project offer many programs and opportunities to learn about water quality, pollinator habitats, and other conservation and natural resource related topics.

Historically, the Benton County SWCD budget and staffing allow them to serve landowners primarily with row crop agriculture, but there are many ways to be involved if you aren’t a farmer.

If  you’re interested in volunteering or joining their mailing list for future events please e-mail Leslie Fisher at leslie.fisher@in.nacdnet.net or contact the office at (765) 884-0660 Ext. 3.