By Jennifer Teegarden, Forestry Outreach Specialist, Division of Forestry, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
This Arbor Month the DNR is issuing the #31DaysOfTrees Challenge in May. (In social media, the pound sign is a "hashtag" used to identify messages on a specific topic). The challenge is simple. During May, post a photo or video of you getting your daily dose of trees on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram along with the hashtag #31DaysOfTrees (include @MinnesotaDNR when posting to Facebook). You could win a prize by participating.
Minnesotan's 18 years and older will have a chance to win a free State Parks permit and have 10 trees planted in your honor in a Minnesota State Forest. The Forestry Division's Outreach Unit will select five winners based on best selfie, best video, best location, most unique tree, and most creative way to get your daily dose of trees. DNR staff and immediate family are not eligible to win prizes but are encouraged to participate.
2017 is the second year of a 2-year Arbor Month campaign that celebrates the health benefits of trees. New this year are videos of Minnesotans getting their daily dose of trees and sharing how trees improve your health. Check them out at mndnr.gov/arbormonth. The videos are really fun, quirky, and quick-all while sharing great info on trees.
Trees provide many benefits to our personal health and wellbeing. Did you know?
- Trees block harmful UV rays that cause skin cancer.
- Childhood asthma rates are lower in urban neighborhoods that have more trees.
- Trees and shrubs reduce stressful noises by 50 percent.
- Trees and forests decrease mental stress by relaxing and restoring the mind.
- Kids who play in nature are more relaxed, attentive, and do better in school.
- Trees reduce air and surface temperatures by up to 20°F.
- Trees help patients heal by refocusing their attention and improving coping skills.
- Tree-lined streets encourage walking, which helps meet daily exercise requirements.
I hope you commit to getting your #DailyDoseOfTrees and participate in the #31DaysOfTrees challenge in May to celebrate Arbor Month. Please encourage family and friends to participate in the #31DayOfTrees Challenge, and participate yourself! Also, watch for Arbor Month content on the DNR's Facebook page and Forestry Division's new Twitter page (@mnforestry), including videos and graphics. Please like and share this content to help spread the word that trees are great. Also, order the Daily Dose of Tree poster for your home or office, or share it with friends, families, and colleagues. Check out mndnr.gov/arbormonth to locate an Arbor Month celebration near you.