Adventure and Advocate for Trees

I have been blessed to have been born into a family of adventurers. One of our winter adventures since the young age of four was to ski with my family every weekend in northern Michigan and annually in Colorado. I just recently returned from my ski trip to Montana, keeping up the annual tradition over (oh, so many) decades. 


This picture of the sunrise over the Gallatin Mountain Range, took my breath away for two reasons. The first is the sheer beauty of the sun rising so predictably over the high, snow and tree-covered mountains. The second was the tremendous loss of pine trees due to the ravages of the bark and pine beetle. Over the past 19 years that I have been travelling to Montana, the tree loss due to this infestation has had a profound effect on the landscape. Where there was once a “blanket of green” covering the mountains, the forests are far thinner now and browning with each year. It makes me sad with each visit. It is no different, really, than my frequent visits to northern Michigan where the pine forests are under a similar attack, as well. And here in Indiana, we see the emerald ash borer having its way with our beautiful stands of ash trees. I think about the animals who rely on the nuts and seeds from trees as part of their regular diet. I think about the protective cover these trees provide throughout the heat of the summer and the freeze of the winter. And I feel a bit frantic, wondering ... “but what can I do?” I can care for the trees I have in my yard. I can plant, plant, plant more trees. I can encourage my neighbors not to cut down trees because they don’t like to rake leaves!  And I can be an advocate for the trees….as can you! Keep Indianapolis Beautiful has many great opportunities for you to help reforest our city and learn more about what YOU can do to help our trees survive and flourish. Visit the volunteer page on our website and get involved!