I have planted lots of trees right from my childhood in several cities in India. But, last Saturday I did the same in Chicago by volunteering along with a group and planted lots of pine trees. ‘Trees Across the Miles’ is a Not-For-Profit organization run by Harold, a part-time employee of a Landscaping agency and has been doing it since 1990s. I came across the event while I was just browsing ‘Volunteers’ column in Craigslist. The moment I read about trees and green cover, I shot a mail to the group and confirmed my participation. The unpleasant weather did raise a lot of question marks, but what the heck I had made up my mind and nothing could stop me.
As usual, I reached the planting location on Indian Stretchable Time [15min later] and was guided by Harold on tree planting tips. Right-sized holes were already dug by using power-drill and I had to just plant the seedlings, cover up the root with several layers of soil, lay the metal support columns and cover with metal mesh. Of course, I had to water them and someone had to secure the mesh to the columns. Tree-planting is nothing new to me as I did a lot of gardening since childhood until 2000, when I ceased being ‘down to earth’ in my acts.
I felt a little weary, but I had this weird feeling of happiness that one feels after helping a needy person. I also noticed that the residents of the locality did turn a blind eye to our activities. I have seen the local folk generally turn inquisitive and ask a few questions, but this Saturday everyone was probably preoccupied with their Saturday night parties. Or may be they thought that the volunteers were actually paid-landscapers doing their job. Whatever it is, the true beauty of such ventures will come to light only when the local community gets involved in such ventures and take care of their own backyard. There is not much that can be done by a group of 15 volunteers, though their role is commendable. So it is entirely upto the gas-guzzler driving, the inconsiderately littering, the consumerist and ignorant populace to pick up the hint that their next summer and winter are going to be hotter and colder than hell and that they must do something about it. Planting a tree is the best way to start. I don’t mean that a tree is a definite solution that will save this world, it is just symbolic. A mind that thinks about a tree will slowly realize about other eco-friendly aspects and will work towards a sustainable tomorrow.
Hm, where is Mr Al Gore- the potential Green president? Will he ‘run’ for the Prez or will he be side-lined because he doesn’t look ‘fit’?