News and Events

Alaska Community Forestry Program Log


UAA students plant fruit trees to celebrate Arbor Day in 2015.

UAA students plant fruit trees to celebrate Arbor Day in 2015.


Arbor Day in Alaska

The grown-ups dropped the ball, but kids saved the day -- Arbor Day.

In 1966, Alaska was the only state in the Union without an official Arbor Day. A group of Kodiak fourth-graders asked their state senator to do something about it, and he did. Soon Gov. Bill Egan was signing Alaska Arbor Day into law and, in May 1966, he used a golden shovel to plant a ceremonial tree near the Juneau Library.

From the beginning, Arbor Day has been a community celebration with a special emphasis on youth. In 1907, Pres. Theodore Roosevelt addressed his Arbor Day Proclamation to "the school children of the United States." In 1966, with help from the Forest Service, the Juneau Garden Club potted up a tree for every one of those Kodiak fourth-graders who got things started; the U.S. Coast Guard delivered them.
Monday, May 16, 2016 is the 50th anniversary of Alaska Arbor Day.

A broad range of celebratory events are planned for communities around the state. Watch for announcements and volunteer opportunities. Plan to plant a tree and, remember -- Save the Day!

Arbor Day Grants Available

The Alaska Community Forest Council wants to help you celebrate with small grants to host an Arbor Day event. Grants of $100 to $500 will help to plant a tree or sponsor other activities that promote Arbor Day in Alaska and highlight the 50th anniversary. The deadline for proposals is Feb. 12, 2016.

For more information on the grant, an application, and ideas about how to celebrate Arbor Day, see


fruit photos

Community Orchard and Food Forest Grants

These grants will support the testing and demonstration of fruit trees (and possibly nut trees) that can be grown in Alaska. Trees may be planted in an orchard or in public landscapes throughout a community. These projects will help us evaluate the success of different fruit trees and community orchard and food forest models, share results, and make recommendations.

Consider planting a food forest that mimics a natural forest ecosystem. Include trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals to create the layers found in a forest. A food forest produces a variety of foods; improves the soil; and attracts pollinators, birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.

For information, see the Request for Proposals, Application, and Grant Report.

Documents in PDF format require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view, save or print.