Last week, students at Westside Elementary School took part in an activity meant to help them learn the value of one of earth’s greatest resources: trees.
Children got to meet Smokey Bear and the Cedartown Tree Commission came along too to promote tree planting with the children at the school in an annual celebration locally of Arbor Day which ends with local youth helping to plant a tree on their campus.
Oh Arbor Day, that annual celebration of the giant redwood and the swaying loblolly, a moment out of the chaos of each year to say all across the world that we are about trees.
The day came and went without much in the way of real notice by most people out there, who look at trees as just part of the background landscape in their yards, or lining the roadways to and from work.
Most of the time, trees only get noticed whenever they fall in the street or cave in a roof following severe weather moving through the area, and then they are considered more nuisance than dead organism.
We forget that trees are living, breathing creatures who occupy this earth along with the rest of us humans lurking around across the surface. In fairness, they are useful and stationary organisms who like plants have no sentience, and therefore become made into a variety of products or burned away to clear acres of land for farming, or roads, or office developments.
Trees become lumber to create structures for living, fences for enclosing and fiber for the toilet paper we should all thank Joseph Gayetty for inventing daily.
Paper, playing cards, Post-It notes, peaches, plastics and plenty of other things are the many products that start out life as a tree of some kind.
I have in the past gone on about the value and need to plant more trees all across the world, repopulating our lost forests and helping in the fight against climate change.
Many of you probably didn’t care to celebrate Arbor Day, and I don’t blame you. February isn’t exactly an ideal time to be outdoors digging into the ground to plant a tree.
That’s exactly what I want you to do. The world is better off with more trees growing, not less based simply of the contributions they make in sequestering carbon and converting it into breathable air.
The more trees we have, the better off we’ll all be. Especially when you might not have any other resources available to you in the future.
If thinking that way makes me a tree-hugger, well then I guess I’m guilty as charged.
Take for instance the plight of a lady who called me the other day asking about the coverage of the landfill and seeking advice with what to do with her property.
I asked her whether she had a lot of trees on hand, and she said that her family used to cut the area for timber from time to time but that she had gotten too old to manage such an operation, and wanted to leave it behind for the next generation to figure out.
That’s a good call, and I think I gave her good advice: at the very least, land is always got a value to it, much of that having to do with the trees it holds.
We should all remember that none of us would be here without trees, wouldn’t get to our jobs, have food on our tables, roofs over our head and so much more without the noble and giving tree.
So get out there and take a few minutes to get a sapling and dig a hole, for the tree you plant today could pay dividends tomorrow, and maybe one day help save the world.