Trees are vital to life. They provide oxygen, store huge amounts of carbon and provide critical habitat and food for wildlife. Yet the world’s forests are dying. In California alone, over 100 million of them have died due to climate change related factors, to say nothing of the scourge of clear cutting that’s decimating our forest land.
But there are rays of hope.
In Washington state, twenty-six Puget Sound cities are planting sapling clones of Coast Redwoods – among the oldest, largest, most iconic trees on earth.
This effort is part of a project called Moving the Giants – named for a 10-minute award-winning film by Michael Ramsey. These 300 Coast Redwood saplings are now arriving in Seattle to be delivered to twenty-six Puget Sound communities in December and January. These cities include: Auburn, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Bothell, Burien, Everett, Federal Way, Gig Harbor, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Lacey, Lake Forest Park, Lynnwood, Mercer Island, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Olympia, Puyallup, Sammamish, SeaTac, Seattle, Shoreline, Tacoma, Tukwila, and University Place.
The city of Seattle will hold a planting celebration on December 10 at 10 a.m. at Jefferson Park. The trees will be planted by children from Plant for the Planet — a world-wide kid-run organization of 8 to 14 year-olds interested in tree planting, keeping fossil fuels in the ground, and fighting poverty through climate justice. Many other communities will host special events where these trees will be planted.
These Coast Redwood saplings have the same genetic structure as some of the world’s oldest and largest trees – trees that have survived 3,000 years or more. According to researchers at Humboldt State University and the University of Washington, these Champion trees have the capacity to remove and sequester airborne carbon like no other species.
These redwood clones are the result of the work of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive – a Copemish, Michigan not-for-profit that collects, archives, and propagates the world’s most important old growth trees before they are gone. For anyone living in or near any of these 26 cities, it will be worth attending one of these family oriented events. You’ll be seeing history in the making.