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MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proud to join communities, organizations and individuals throughout the state in celebrating trees and forests during Forest Appreciation Week, which runs from Earth Day (April 22) to Arbor Day (April 26).

Forest Appreciation Week is a time to reflect on the importance of urban and rural forests.

“Everyone has a role in ensuring that both continue to serve a vital role in the ecological, cultural and economic health of our state, our local communities and our individual lives,” said Carmen Hardin, DNR Applied Forestry bureau director.

The 17 million acres of forests that cover nearly half of Wisconsin and the millions of urban trees provide many benefits, including:

Safeguarding water resources
Creating homes and food for wildlife
Supporting the forest industry
Offering a myriad of outdoor recreation opportunities
Reducing energy consumption and soil erosion
Providing natural beauty for stress relief
Supporting human health
Providing shade
Mitigating impacts of the changing climate by trapping and storing carbon dioxide

To maintain these many benefits, we need to be good stewards of the forest resources.

In 2021, the State of Wisconsin made a tree planting and forest conservation pledge focusing on the stewardship of forests and trees in both rural and urban areas, addressing the equitable distribution of the urban tree canopy and committing to protecting forest lands from development.

Wisconsin residents can participate in that pledge by:

Planting trees and recording them on the Wisconsin tree planting map
Caring for trees in their neighborhood

Wisconsin communities also recognize the benefits of urban forests, and Wisconsin has the second-highest number of Tree City USA communities in the nation. Learn which communities have earned this designation.

Students can also make a difference. This year, the DNR donated more than 49,000 tree seedlings to fourth-grade classrooms across Wisconsin to celebrate Arbor Day and help students learn about the importance of trees. Additionally, the DNR’s reforestation program has supplied Wisconsin landowners with more than 1.6 billion seedlings since 1911.

These investments in tree planting and forest stewardship by communities, forest landowners and residents of all ages are key to ensuring that Wisconsin continues to have healthy and sustainable urban and rural forests that support strong and resilient communities.

Celebrate Rural And Urban Forests During Forest Appreciation Week