Saturday, July 17, 2010
Not to sound like an uninformed hippy, but I think Lynn could use a lot more trees. Sure Lynn already has an expansive municipal forest at Lynn woods reservation, but how many people get to go there once a week who live in Lynn?
Chances are if you are an average working class citizen of Lynn, elderly, or young, you rarely get to go for walks in Lynn Woods. Sure it's not far you say, but after a long day of work how likely are you to drive in traffic across town and go tramping about trails? Chances are you are tired and sore and use your time off of work to relax, rarely will you have the energy to go walking up and down wooded trails on the other side of the city. You're much more likely to go sit outside on your porch or take a walk around the neighborhood. Take a look next time you are on your porch or out on foot in your neighborhood, chances are you will see some trees and a little grass here and there but in this writer's opinion your street is more than likely pretty desolate when it comes to greenery or wildlife.
As a child growing up in Lynn some streets would become to me like old Western main streets in summer, sun parched, dust billowing about, the good, the bad, and the ugly theme song faintly playing in the background. At the same time other areas in Lynn, like part of High Rock preservation and Post 507 near my house, would seem like vast impenetrable forests. It was in these wooded lots and parks where I honed my love of nature: catching snakes, finding salamanders, watching hawks soar on thermals, seeing crows and mockingbirds at war, hearing the buzzing of winged insects in the tall grasses. Though I loved animals at an early age it was not until the last five or so years that I started to appreciate plant life, in particular the trees of New England.
No other living thing does so much for us and for life in general on earth. In my opinion trees truly are the keystone species to life as we know it on earth. They provide timber for building and for fuel, shelter from heat, fruits and nuts for food, forests hold massive quantities of water protecting the area from flooding, their root systems hold soil in place protecting it from erosion.
Trees employ millions directly and billions indirectly. Foresters, loggers, carpenters, paper mills, farmers, cosmetic manufactures, pharmaceutical companies are all directly linked to trees. Then you have all the stores and businesses who deliver and sell these products and then you have all the businesses who use tree products such as paper and cardboard. You live in a house primarily constructed of wood, you write on paper, you (hopefully) eat fruits or nuts that came from a tree.
And let us not forget trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen thus making life as we know it on earth even possible
Sure, you know this you say, but how many people respect and revere trees for their endless gifts?
Instead we continue to waste their gifts without care and commit genocide on these noblest of lifeforms. Every day they are laid low so that we may clear land for cattle, lay out a plot of land for a transitory business that will be bankrupt in a hundred years or less, pave over them so we may have a place to park or drive or ingest poisonous food. Instead of respecting them for what they do, which is to sustain life and heal the wounds we constantly inflict on our own planet, we slaughter them and scoff at them.
I'm not saying we go out and hang banners on them and give them names, I'm sure all they want from us is to be left alone to do what they have been doing since we were naught but rodent-like mammals held back from evolution by reptilian tyrants.
So my Saugus-river-like-winding essay over I say we pay our respects to these silent guardians. Plant more of their kin on our streets, in our yards. Protect them on the hilltops and in the fallow fields where they are already growing or standing proud. Stay the axe from the Oak who was here when the first people hunted deer, who gave shade to our great-grandparents, who continues to give us oxygen.
That being said, save our friends and guardians who loftily stand on the hilltops of the Lynn/Salem highlands, who cool the vernal pools where rare creatures breed and sing in the spring time, who purify and protect the waters of Spring Pond!
http://www.springpondwoods.com/ Check this blog written by Lynn's very own Katerina for everything about the wonderful woods and vernal pools, Salem/Lynn relations, Salem/Lynn small businesses that are being threatened by big box companies (Lowes and Wal-Mart)
http://www.borealforest.org/school/trees.htm Basic info about what trees do.
http://www.coloradotrees.org/benefits.htm Info about Urban trees and the impact they have on city life, replace Lynn with Colorado if you have a bad imagination :)
http://www.cleanairgardening.com/plantingtrees.html Info and statistics about the environmental importance of trees (for all you number-nerds)
http://www.allfreeessays.com/topics/the-importance-of-trees/0 A forest of essays written by college students about the importance of trees
May you grow tall and may your roots spread far.