Alaska celebrates Arbor Day

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Today is Alaska's Arbor Day, and many schools around the Interior are taking part in the holiday by planting trees.

Arbor Day was started in 1872 in Nebraska by a man named Julius Morton.
Morton was a member of the state board of agriculture, and encouraged groups to plant trees by offering a prize to those who planted the most on Arbor Day.

The tradition is carried out across the country, with each state having its own scheduled observance according to the planting season.

Today, the Arbor Day committee of Fairbanks joined the students at the Spruce Tree Montessori School to plant spruce trees.

The Head of School, Sabina Binkley, says having students work in nature is part of the Montessori tradition.

"One of the hallmarks of Montessori education is to provide children with a connection to nature, which why on our playground we are very particular and thoughtful about the equipment that we have," explained Binkley. "Most of our playground features so far are wood and handmade, and the children have had a hand in designing or building. I think it's important that we start to green up the space and provide them with trees and shrubs and, of course, a garden."