In much of my reading and viewing of information about the Necessary Revolution, I’ve been affected by the power of trees. In Suzuki Speaks, David Suzuki talks quite inspiringly about the importance of trees on our planet, as do many important scientists in the film The 11th Hour. At some point, through discussions with co-workers (namely Dylan Johns) I came up with the idea of getting trees for the students at our school.
I have two tree planting projects in mind, one smaller, and one quite large (from my perspective). I would like to plant trees indoor (inside our classroom) as soon as possible with my homeroom and with a couple of other teacher’s homeroom classrooms in the school as well. The idea here is to have students take care of the tree seedlings for the rest of the school year, and at the end of the year, they will take them home to plant in their yard.
The larger project that I have in mind is to provide one tree seedling to each of our students in the school – we have about 500 students and about 50 staff members at Martin Collegiate. I would think that this would work best in the spring time – likely March or April. Each student will take home a seedling to plant in their yard, or to plant in a place that they can be attached to.
Originally, I had attempted to get trees from our provincial crown power corporation. That was a process that just didn’t feel quite right. This corporation uses the waste heat produced by one of its power plants aid in growing over 500,000 seedlings each year which are given away for various reasons and projects. After finding the proper contact person, I was directed to some extensive paper-work. Unfortunately, the application is somewhat of a lottery, through which I will have to wait until April to find out whether or not I will receive any of the requested tree seedlings. I completed the application, but as I have stated, that just did not feel quite right.
Shortly after, I found the Love Trees web-site of Andrea Koehle Jones. Andrea is Executive Director of Love Trees as well as the ChariTree Foundation. What a godsend! She responded promptly, agreed that she thought my projects were great, and said that she was happy to provide trees for both of my projects as well as shipping (so there will be no cost to me or our school). After receiving such an exceptional response from Andrea, I did a little searching, and found out that she is also the author of the children’s environmental picture book The Wish Trees. I bought the book as a gift for my girls (along with Suzuki’s Tree: A Life Story for me).
“If children are going to make a lifelong commitment to protect the environment for themselves and future generations, they first need time to explore the wonders of nature,” said Andrea Koehle Jones, Executive Director of Love Trees. She says one of the best ways to learn about the environment is to plant, care for and watch a seedling grow into a magnificent tree.
I couldn’t agree with her more. I know first hand how this has helped me. Planting a tree from a seedling has made that tree special to me, and I still have the tree that I planted as a child. This is exactly what I hope to see take place with this project.
Andrea has notified me that Love Trees is a member of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign. The trees that we are planting will help the UN reach this very substantial goal. I feel pretty good about that.