Growing Up with Trees

by Fran Lawlor, Land Manager

When I was a child we had a sturdy pear tree I climbed to gorge on sweet, juicy, pithy pears. As the years passed I watched that tree become gnarly, lose limbs, tumble and rot away. A nearby cornfield where I sat munching green corn, if I wasn’t in the tree eating pears, now supports maple trees I tap for syrup making. These changes happened over decades of my life and I have enjoyed every stage of the journey. The pear tree holds a solid place in my heart along with my grandmother and grandfather, my parents and others who shaped me and are gone. I wish all children a special tree, a special place, they can hold with them throughout their lives.

For the past few years our Earth Day celebrations have included planting trees around the preserve. This spring, the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, we planted a Nuttery in a corn field on the preserve, including oaks, American chestnuts, hickories and white pines along with many other trees and shrubs critical to the wellbeing of the wildlife on our preserve. It is our hope that the young people who lent their hands to the work of our Earth Day projects will find their way, in future decades, to the Nuttery to collect nuts and to enjoy the pleasure of a long pause to watch birds and other creatures, remembering their part in those Earth Day planting parties when the Nuttery began.