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Arbor and Bird Day: a Proclamation. (7 May 1915.)

The half has not been told concerning the destruction of insects by birds. The farmer in particular is indebted to the birds. True there are birds whose reputations are not above reproach. Some of them eat a few cherries and berries. This is only a small compensation for the service they render man.

Throughout the civilized world, birds are objects of admiration. Their beautiful plumage, their sweet and cheering songs, awaken the noblest emotions. The man, woman or child who has the heart to needlessly harm a bird will do injury to the human family. Thousands of our most beautiful feathered songsters are killed annually by the domestic cat. We need fewer cats and more birds.

By training boys and girls to feed the birds in winter and house them against storms, we stimulate the nobler emotions. The killing of birds for sport brutalizes the hunter. Michigan should conserve bird life. This is distinctively human.

Many of the birds are like men dependent upon the existence of trees. A part without trees is a desert, unfit for birds of human beings. Farms without trees, school yards without trees, homes without here and there a tree, roadsides without trees, are desolate and unfriendly. Plant a tree.

Let me ask the boys and girls to conserve the life of our wild flowers. Pick only a few here and there. Leave enough for seed.

Let the country, as well as the city, engage in systematic tree planting, in tree culture for the delight and the benefit of all useful forms of life.

Therefore, I, Woodbridge N. Ferris, Governor of the State of Michigan, do hereby designate Friday, May 7th, 1915, as Arbor and Bird Day, and do request that this day be observed by all schools, public and private, and other educational institutions by the planting of trees for beautifying school grounds and parks, and by conducting suitable exercises for promoting the spirit of protection to trees and birds.

Source: Arbor and Bird Day Proclamation. Addresses and Writings, Box 6. Woodbridge N. Ferris Papers. University Archives. Ferris State University.