An incredibly challenging planting season has come to a close and we are indebted to many people who went above and beyond to help make sure 21,000 trees + native shrubs were planted. We’ll be highlighting a few of these folks over the coming months, volunteers who really made a difference, despite the obstacles.
Meet Mallory Pratt!
Mallory (she/her) started volunteering back in 2013. Ever since she’s been a powerhouse planting, pruning, summer inspecting where it’s most needed. When it comes to community tree work Mallory does it all! In her own words:
I love trees and Friends of Trees is an amazing organization that puts science and civics and people and fun all together to give our urban landscape more of them! How could I not volunteer?
C19 reminded me that the people part is just as important as the tree part! Not just cause it’s harder to plant a tree by yourself, but because sharing tree love with others and learning together is so much fun:) That and I soooo miss the lunch potluck.
Do you have any memories of the 20-21 planting season that stand out?
Digging through Missoula-flood-soil to make the right size hole for a surprisingly big native oak by myself.
The joy of having an Assistant Crew Leader to work with in February!!
Not loading and unloading trees from trucks:) Thank you Friends of Trees staff who did so much heavy lifting and coordination of that!!!!
Connecting with homeowners desperate to talk to someone they don’t live with:)
What advice do you have for other Crew Leaders? Share what you’ve learned and learn from others. Smile a lot.
Planting manager Ian Bonham shares a few words about Mallory : Mallory’s been planting with FOT longer than I have, but it wasn’t until this season that we finally got to have a bit of one-on-one time. There was this week in January where I kept running into Mallory at the FOT house when she was picking up tools and maps to plant or prune a route of trees. We had a few long conversations in the FOT parking lot, joking about our muddy masks, hunting for public restrooms, and the peculiarities of planting trees in a pandemic. I literally screeched with laughter a few times and she really lifted my spirits during a pretty dark time. Several weeks later I got repeated requests from volunteers who wanted to be on her planting crews—I can totally understand why. Mallory clearly finds real joy in doing good work for and with her neighbors, and she does a great job of sharing it too.
Mallory, thank you for buoying this work the last 8+ years, but particularly during these pandemic daze! You have a big heart, and like Ian (kinda) said, your joy is a contagion that we wanna catch!!