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Arbor Day marked in Baguio

Submitted by: regina
On: 28/06/2010

Arbor Day was marked at the Mountain Maid Training Center (MMTC) with tree planting at the Good Shepherd Convent grounds in Gilbraltar, Baguio City. Though Arbor Day was celebrated in the Philippines on June 25, MMTC students, staff and Good Shepherd sisters planted trees on June 28.

Sr. Rosemary Bacaltos RGS, said that during the celebration, students shared about their research and readings of the significance of this occasion. A tree planting followed. A student also sang what was originally the text of a poem by Joyce Kilmer.

Arbor Day (from the Latin feminine noun arbor, simply meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. It originated in Nebraska City, Neb., in the United States in 1872. J. Sterling Morton is the founder of Arbor Day. The first Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1872, and an estimated 1 million trees were planted that day.

Many countries now observe it on various dates, depending on climate and suitable planting season, usually in the spring.



Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

I THINK that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.


A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;


A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;


A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;


Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.


Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.


Arbor Day in the Philippines has been institutionalized to be observed every June 25 by planting trees and ornamental plants and other forms of relevant activities. The necessity to promote a healthier ecosystem for the people through the rehabilitation and re-greening of the environment was stressed in Proclamation No. 643 that amended Proclamation No. 396 of June 2, 2003. Proclamation No. 396 enjoined the "active participation of all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, private sector, schools, civil society groups and the citizenry in tree planting activity and declaring June 25, 2003 as Philippines Arbor Day."

Trees are the earth’s oldest living organisms. They improve air and water quality; reduce heating and cooling costs; provide a cool and beautiful place to live, work and play; are a renewable source of fuel, shelter, food and other products and provide benefits that directly affect the economic, environmental and social health of the people and the communities where they live.

Good Shepherd Sisters in the Philippines

Vision Statement:

Transformed in Jesus Christ, we, Good Shepherd Sisters, live our mission of compassion and reconciliation through a Contemplative or an Apostolic life. With zeal, we labour to renew the world towards fullness of life where there is Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.


Good Shepherd Sisters in Baguio, with the MMTC, schedule an annual tree-planting of coffee, guava and pine trees. Besides the tree planting, the community also continue its practice of Integrated Waste Management-- the segregation of non-biodegradable and biodegradable materials.

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