What an outpouring of support in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.! At Friends of Trees’ January 15 and 17 plantings, 385 volunteers planted 1,456 trees and shrubs to make the Portland-Vancouver metro area a healthier place for everyone.
Dr. King has been quoted as saying, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
Trees help all people equally. They don’t discriminate based on background, gender, race, or economic standing. They toil away quietly for everyone, cleaning our air and rivers, removing carbon from the atmosphere, holding our soil in place, and providing wildlife habitat. A new study even links trees with healthier newborns.
Above is a slide show of photos taken by Friends of Trees Development Manager Greg Tudor at our Saturday planting in the Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods, which was sponsored by Portland General Electric.
Tyler Green, a student teacher at David Douglas High School, brought students to the planting, some of whom came to Portland from refugee camps in Asia and Africa.
“I want to thank you on behalf of all our students for the chance to participate in the tree planting on Saturday!” he said. “I think everyone was a little hesitant with the rain, mud, and what they considered an early morning, but we all had a great time.”
Hundreds of trees were also planted through our Green Space Initiative program on Monday at Forest Rim in Tualatin.
“We planted alongside so many enthusiastic volunteers,” said Friends of Trees Gift Trees & Membership Services Specialist Emma Gray. “As usual, I left tired, muddy and exhilarated. But the added thoughts of Dr. King lent the day an even greater sense of purpose.”
Meeks, who spearheaded Friends of Trees’ effort to offer planting opportunities for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday along with Green Space Manager Logan Lauvray, said, “The turnout for these events was very impressive and from a very diverse set of groups—middle school students, high school students [from four local schools], Big Brother Big Sister, the Oregon Campus Compact, Hands On Greater Portland, and Friends of Trees crew leaders and volunteers. Portland really responded to the call to service exemplified by Dr. King.”
Total trees planted at the four “weekend of service” plantings: 1,456. Add this to the 9,595 that Friends of Trees had planted during our 2010-11 season already and the 60 trees that Portland Timbers staffers planted yesterday, and our cumulative total so far is 11,111!
The planting season isn’t even half-way over yet. Our biggest neighborhood plantings to date are scheduled for tomorrow. We’ll plant 250 street and yard trees in the Creston-Kenilworth, Foster-Powell, South Tabor and Reed neighborhoods and 180 in Kerns, Laurelhurst, North Tabor, and Sunnyside.
We’ve also scheduled a Sunday planting along the I-205 Multi-Use Path for all who missed our Saturday and Monday plantings or who would like to plant trees in honor of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees.