We have begun educating ourselves about trees and learning about the diversity a healthy forest needs. Before the Greensprings Wildlife Sanctuary was set aside as a protected land trust, it was heavily logged by a disgruntled rancher. When my husband and I bought the property, the sanctuary was already in place and the trees had been recovering for the past 30 years. That's enough time for the fast growing White Fir to mature, but not a long time in the life of a whole forest. When you look at the mountain you can see large areas of die off. These dead trees are all white fir. A few are diseased or being eaten by invasive bark beetles, but many are just reaching the end of their natural life cycle. Due to the logging 30 years ago most of our forest is white fir.
We need to diversify the tree population. Slow growing trees will one day create the rich soil and the dense canopy that sustain a diverse old growth forest . Our goal is to plant 1000 trees by the end of summer 2020, funded by Bhakti Bee Art.
I started my art business 4 months ago, and expected it to be a struggle. Instead everything has just flowed together, like this amazing tree donation from the Greensprings Rural Fire Department. A neighbor told me the local firehouse was giving away Douglas-fir and Sugar Pine seedlings. I asked the fire chief for the maximum number of trees he could give me and he gave me 205 trees. Thank you Fire Chief Davies!
Over the next five weeks we planted trees, 10 or 20 at a time every few days. With just me and my toddler helping I could get a dozen done an hour. With the neighbor helping we planted 20 in an hour. And on our last day we planted 90 trees in 3 hours with four adults and one toddler running the water can. It was hot sweaty work digging holes and hauling seedlings--harder than I expected. But it made it real.
We have 800 trees to go. We can do this.