Saturday, January 30, 2016
It was a cool crisp January morning when Mendocino Land Trust staff, board, and members gathered together at the Gleason-Prescott preserve in Willits to dig in and get 600 redwood sprouts in the ground. Due to the success of last year’s planting, the Land Trust crew was invited back this year to plant twice as many trees, and we were glad to have a couple of extra hands this time around, especially from our youngest member and her family.
Tree planting is often the first experience young children have to environmental stewardship. Whether it’s a school outing or an activity with a youth group, planting a tree can leave a lasting impression. It imbues a sense of empowerment, and also personal responsibility -- that despite the weight of current environmental woes, one can make the world a better place by spending a few hours planting trees on a sunny Saturday morning.
The simple act of digging a hole and placing a seedling within, to envelop it in rich soil and to tuck it into place, constitutes not only a physical act, but an emotional one. Tree planting allows our brains to ruminate on a broader timescale then our everyday lives allow. Volunteers, young and old, reflect on their work and wonder how tall that one seedling might grow to be, or how long it might live. They may wonder what animals will call that tree home, and if their children’s children will one day enjoy the shade their tiny seedling will cast.
It is for all of these reasons that our tree planting day remains a favorite activity among the Land Trust crew and a priceless opportunity to spend a few quiet hours communing with the Earth.