Money and trees make news on National Arbor Day

I pity Arbor Day. It used to get all of the attention while its poor cousin, Earth Day, received nary a card. At least, that's how it seemed to me growing up in the 1970s and 1980s. I don't think I had even heard of Earth Day. But now, it seems to have turned around. Arbor Day is hardly noticed.

That's a shame, since clearly, the last time I checked, trees are still pretty vital to creating oxygen for everyone to breathe. So in honor of both Arbor Day and WalletPop, I thought I'd do a quick roundup of what's going on lately in the world of trees and money.

Pennsylvania today launched a statewide initiative to plant one million trees in urban areas around the state. That's a great thing, of course. Trees are applauded for doing everything from protecting the asphalt on the roads (by blocking the sun's rays and drying it out) to reducing violence in housing projects. Arguably, it stimulates the economy as well, by just making a neighborhood a nicer place to visit -- and shop.

On the other hand, you need to have money to water the trees. In Burlingame, a community near San Francisco, they've been on a tree-planting kick lately (500 trees in 15 months), but as the San Francisco Examiner is reporting, the city may not have the funds to water them (it's apparently important to water young trees and give Mother Nature a break). That's because the city had to lay off two members of its landscaping staff and may need to lay off one of the five people assigned full-time to plant and maintain Burlingame's 18,000 trees. And so they're asking residents to pick up the slack.
In Boxford, Massachusetts, an elderly woman was scammed out of a few hundred dollars when a man offered to do some work (trimming, I suppose) on one of her trees. He left, without doing the work. If karma works the way it should, a tree will soon fall on the guy.

For the fourth year in a row, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the Arbor Day Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service are in the midst of their 50 Million Tree Pledge. Every year for the next 50 years (so they have 46 more years to go), they're pledging to plant one million trees per year, throughout the United States, Canada and England. Enterprising, to say the least.

And finally, earlier this month, I wrote a post about the Arbor Day Foundation's annual tree poster contest and invited WalletPop readers to vote on their favorite poster to help a fifth grader win a $1,000 savings bond, as well as other perks like a lifetime membership with the Arbor Day Foundation. Well, I'm told that approximately 22,000 WalletPop readers visited the site and voted. Nice. And congratulations to Geneva Mendoza of Oklahoma. If you want to see her poster, just click here.
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