Trees Can Help Heal Our Planet
In my teens trees were a great solace to me before I learned to find it within myself. I was living at my family’s home in Vermont, the “Green Mountain State”. Of course what made it green were its vast forests of trees.
I discovered two things at that time. I discovered that when I wanted to be alone it was an adventure to climb the oaks and maples that surrounded our property. Their branches seemed like a staircase into another world. I was content to find the proper height, not too high and not too close to the ground. There I leaned against its trunk under the canopy of leaves and found the peace and comfort I had misplaced.
My other discovery was my fascination with birch trees. Slender but stately they grew together in groves like family. Today inside my home on the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia I have birch bark inlaid tables, mirrors, bookcases, candles – even a 7’ long branch that rests against a wall as a piece of art, its grey and speckled lines on white pleasing to the eye.
My love of all trees brought me to support the Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I feel I’m a steward of my land on the mountain. I’ve planted over a hundred trees on my property, many of the trees coming from the Arbor Day Foundation’s bare-root nursery. I hope this is the season my hazelnut bushes produce its first nuts.
I’m very excited that my small village of Bluemont has applied to become part of the Tree City USA member communities. It was a special passion of mine that one day as I drive through the village I pass the Tree City sign showing that we are a community that cares for our mountains and our trees.
When we plant a tree, it really is a gift for succeeding generations. It’s a conscious choice we make. Whether it is preserving the earth’s tree canopy, or planting a single seedling in our backyard, we can make a difference!
Friends emphasizes trees because when we gaze at the Blue Ridge we are seeing a resilient forest that has survived invasive pests and clear-cutting. Friends as an organization exists to protect and preserve this threatened landscape from development.
- ABSORB 8 million tons of carbon, the equivalent of 6.2 million cars off the road for a year.
- INTERCEPT AND FILTER 7.1 billion cubic meters of stormwater runoff.
- REMOVE 15,850 tons of airborne particulate matter.
- REMOVE 578,000 tons of chemical air pollution from our atmosphere.
- PROVIDE $32.9 billion in total environmental benefits.
Restoring the earth (and supporting the organizations and companies that plant trees) is a noble goal for 2020, demonstrating our own resilience during this period of upheaval.