New Year of the Trees - United States Department of Agriculture - 09022012
'New Year of the Trees' event on the District of Columbia western lawn next to the USDA Headquarters. Photo by United States Department of Agriculture
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United States Department of Agriculture
'New Year of the Trees' event on the District of Columbia western lawn next to the USDA Headquarters. Photo by United States Department of Agriculture

Washington celebrated Tu Bishvat, Jewish Arbor day, on Wednesday, in a tree planting ceremony near USDA Washington DC headquarters.

Harris Sherman, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at USDA, planted a Dawn Redwood and talked about the importance of urban trees in both Israel and the United States.

Sherman oversees the U.S. Forest Service, an agency that has more than a century of experience in managing America’s national forests and helping to sustain the nation’s forests for the benefit of generations to come.

This week, other Obama Administration officials planted trees in Arizona, Colorado, and Israel as part of the commemoration of the Jewish holidy.

Also in attendance were Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Terry Bellamy, Director of the District of Columbia Department of Transportation. Rabbi Levi Shemtov offered remarks and students from Washington DC’s Jewish Primary Day School. The local school children were able to partake in the holiday and learn about the importance of urban trees.