There are several good reasons to think about April, in March, and they can all be related to “plantings“.
1. Most local Conservation Districts finish their Bare-root Tree and Shrub sales by the end of March so that plants can be put in the ground during the first week of April. Our local Blacksmith Fork CD has about 30 diverse evergreens, broadleafs and fruit-bearing shrubs which will provide wildlife with food, shelter, and a place to raise young. Even if you have small yards, the value of your property will raise in proportion to the number of mature plants existing there. Of course, there are also health and environmental benefits which trees provide through the nature of photosynthesis and filtering impurities from the air. And the best time to plant trees is 20 years ago!
2. I am the Chair of the Wildlife Habitat Committee in Nibley, Utah which just completed the application process to become the first,and only, registered community in the State of Utah officially sanctioned by the National Wildlife Federation. I encourage other communities, and even individuals, to join us in this worthwhile endeavor. The protocols are listed in their website www.nwf.org under “Wildlife Gardening”. Our goal now is to advance to the next step and become a fully certified wildlife habitat community.
3. We have made arrangements to donate and plant trees at the Stokes Nature Center property in Nibley, as well as at the Thomas Edison Charter School campus. Both of these areas are completing certification with NWF as well. We scheduled a planting festival in these two sites to be celebrated on Earth Day, Monday April 22nd. Youth from local LDS Wards will assist in the project. This event will have TV, newspaper, and radio media coverage for the purpose of encouraging others to help their own neighborhoods. I challenge you to do likewise in your community.
4. I am also Chair of our city Tree Board, which networks well with our Wildlife Committee. On April 16 we will receive Tree City USA and Tree Growth awards from the State. I don’t mention this in the attitude of boasting, but rather to challenge each of us to become agents of sustainability and to do good works within our communities. Many individuals do good works in relatively private settings. And that is definitely good, and necessary. But I encourage you to literally go outside the box of your own home or workplace by contacting your city personnel, forming volunteer committees, and motivating others to join with you in worthwhile endeavors.
5. And, with April rapidly approaching, I suggest one more planting idea in March. Plant the conviction in your homes and neighborhoods that Easter is the commemoration of the resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Avoid the stampede of shoppers who have been convinced by retail markets that hiding colored eggs and chocolate represents that most Holy event. If you absolutely must participate in those pagan rituals, call them a celebration of Spring…..not Easter. I mention this in March so you might reconsider the expenditures on plastic grass, soon-to-be-broken wicker baskets, marshmallow peeps, and chocolate bunnies. Isn’t is strange that Santa has all but completely replaced the image of infant Jesus at Christmas, and a mythical rabbit has done the same for Easter? Plant a good testimony…..in March…..for April.