The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds people that May is Arbor Month in Minnesota and Arbor Day, April 27, marks the beginning of an entire month of celebrating trees.
This year, Minnesota's Arbor Month theme is "Creating a Healthy Community Forest." The idea is to encourage planting a wide variety of native trees to create a diverse community forest that is more resilient to large-scale devastation from tree pests.
A DNR 2010 Community Forest Survey showed that more than 50 percent of Minnesota's community trees are ash, maple and spruce.
"With the 2009 discovery of emerald ash borer in Minnesota and the potential arrival of other invasive species, we could stand to lose a large percentage of our community forest trees to these devastating pests," said Jennifer Teegarden, DNR forestry outreach specialist.
To celebrate Arbor Month, the DNR created "A Homeowner's Guide to Creating a Healthy Yard." The guide provides an overview of how to transform a traditional yard to one that provides wildlife habitat, environmental benefits, increased property values and landscape diversity using native plants.
Urban and community forestry federal funds helped pay for the guide.
To obtain an Arbor Month packet that includes the guide, contact the DNR Information Center at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.
Visit the DNR's Arbor Month Web page at www.mndnr.gov/arbormonth for more information about how to create a healthy yard and to locate an Arbor Day or Arbor Month celebration.
"Remember, Arbor Month and Arbor Day are great times to go outside to explore nature," Teegarden said.