By Mike McQuaide, Sustainable Newton Board Member
Here's a little good news to share... I recently had an arborist come out to our home in Oxford to check on our sickly elm tree to see if it could be saved. Thankfully, it can be.
But, that’s only part of the good news. When the arborist finished diagnosing the elm, he walked around to our large front yard and mentioned the space “would be perfect for some trees.” He volunteered that Emory University had not been able to meet its goals for no net loss of trees on property owned by the university. And, as a result, Emory was looking for nearby property owners interested in having trees planted on their property for free.
Both the trees and the planting are courtesy of Emory. The university had expanded the area on which it plants to compensate for trees lost elsewhere on Emory property. So, my wife and I will have two new oak trees native to Georgia planted in our front yard free of charge. The program is closed now, since enough people have now volunteered to have trees planted on their property. But, I have say "way to go Emory" as we continue to create practices to address global climate change.
I was pleased to learn our sickly elm needed only a little "hair cut" to restore its vitality. I’ve had a special relationship with trees since I was a boy. We know the environmental benefits of tree cover, but I’ve long appreciated trees in a more sentimental fashion that goes beyond the science of the matter. As a young boy, my mother’s father took me on long hikes in the Pennsylvania forest near his home. His narration about the importance of trees is with me to this day. He taught me to identify the different bird songs in the leaves overhead, how to locate wild bee hives in the high branches, and how much cooler it was in the shade than in the direct sun. Thanks, granddad.
Preserving existing trees and planting new ones are steps anyone can take to address climate change and reduce heat islands in our cities. Sustainable Newton is pleased the non-profit One Tree Planted will plant a tree for each attendee at our November 21 "24 Hours of Reality - Truth in Action" presentation -- and each of the other 1,000+ sessions worldwide that day.