By Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
Bradenton, FL (August 3, 2009)- In our busy, stressed-out lives, we often forget to stop and enjoy the beauty around us. As the old saying goes, “Stop and smell the roses.” Or, in this case, “Stop and stare at the trees.”
Trees are an integral part of our life, but we seldom realize how powerful they are- their effect on our senses, their impact on our environment, and the shade they offer us, just asking us to come sit beneath them to relax. But like the beat of our heart, we don’t really stop to think about them. How did they get there? How did they grow to get so big? Who planted them?
Alex Woodworth, of Woodside, Calif., knows how many of them got there… because she planted 12 of them to be exact. Not in her own backyard, but in her local park so they could be enjoyed by thousands of people for many years to come. “I love to volunteer,” shared Alex. “From soup kitchens to blood drives to just helping my neighbor, I am constantly looking for ways to help. But tree planting was never something that came to mind until I visited Southern California after one of their big wildfires.”
Alex and her family came to Los Angeles 12 years ago for vacation and couldn’t believe what they saw. Besides all of the smoke in the air, they saw black, dead hills. No wildlife, no beauty, no joy. “It’s not like it was the first time I had seen the after-effects of a wildfire, but, for some reason I just took notice this time,” said Alex. “It was so depressing and dark. I thought about the animals that died, I noticed these big trees that must have been 20 years old and now they were all dead… the beauty was gone.”
Fortunately, for the rest of us, this inspired Alex to start something pretty special. Something so simple, yet so positive. “I decided that when we got back home we were going to plant a tree somewhere in a public area,” shared Alex. “I had no idea how it was going to happen, but I was committed to figuring it out.”
When Alex and her family returned to Woodside, she started to investigate the process. She called the Department of Parks and Recreation and shared her vision.
“I told them about my experience in Los Angeles, and shared with them that I wanted to donate and plant one tree a year in one of our city parks,” shared Alex. “I was so surprised by their excitement and willingness to work with me. We chose a park; they told me what type of tree they wanted to plant and where I could plant it. They even came out and helped us.” Today, there are 12 beautiful trees aligned along the back side of a park that provide beauty, shade and oxygen… and, more importantly, symbolize the power of the human spirit.
Trees matter. You matter. Go plant a tree today. It might not have been on your “To-Do List” for today, but hopefully now it is.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
1. Call your local nursery to get a list of trees that grow best in your area; then determine the type of tree you would like to plant.
2. To plant a tree:
Planting 100 million trees can reduce the amount of carbon by an estimated 18 million tons per year and, at the same time, save consumers $4 billion each year on utility bills.
Bradenton Herald- Go green- plant a tree