Monday, 12 November 2012

Where Would we be Without Trees?

The Spark:
Trees look like they're just standing around doing nothing most of the time.  We see them in our backyards and community and we walk or drive by them everyday as we go along in our daily lives.  But, have you ever been drawn to a trees majestic strength and beauty?  Have you ever wondered why they grow so tall?  

If you think of a symbol that would represent nature, it would definitely be a tree.  Actually, trees are extremely beneficial to people and are and essential part of the ecosystem.  Here's how:
Trees clean the air, they provide oxygen, they cool the city streets, they shield people from ultra-violet rays, they provide food, they heal, and they mark the seasons.  Trees also conserve energy.  Did you know that strategically placed trees around a home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent.  A trees roots help stop soil erosion down a hillside.  Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife.  Trees provide wood.  Trees help prevent water pollution by reducing runoff.  Also, when mulched, the tree acts like a sponge that filters the water naturally.  But best of all, trees are teachers and playmates.   So what would we do without trees?

Before you start your quest, here is an inspirational story by Shel Silverstein called The Giving Tree:

Super Natural Child: Superheroes ACTIVATE!  Are you interested in meeting a tree and keeping a tree diary to find out more about that tree?  Then start your quest to find out more.  Your quest begins with a WHY?

Start Your Quest:
Why:  To meet a tree and find out more about it.  
What:  Find a tree, meet that tree, keep a tree diary to explore that tree.
Who:  You, your friends, and family
Where:  Your backyard, community, park, or anywhere you spot your first tree
When:  Whenever you can get yourself organized
How:  Follow the instructions below and watch the videos.  Have fun!

Take Action:

Time Lapse of an acorn growing into a tiny oak tree

How to meet a tree:

Step 1:  Find a tree and look at it.

Step 2:  Reach out to a low branch and shake hands.  Then, hug the tree.

Step 3:  Put your ear up to it's trunk (not an elephants trunk, a tree trunk.)

Step 4:  Smell the trunk, leaves, and buds. Oh my, this is getting strange!

Congratulations!  You just met a tree.  How did that feel?  What did you notice, observe, feel, smell?  Did you hear anything in, on, or around the trunk?  Add all this information to your nature journal.  Keep an ongoing "diary" in your nature journal about your growing interest in trees.  Come back to visit your new tree friend on a regular basis.  You may want to paint a watercolour painting in your tree diary or tape samples.  It's up to you.  

My Nature Journal-  A.K.A. Your Tree Diary
This family knows how to meet a tree.  Watch!

Don't Stop Here:
Don't stop exploring and researching trees.  Who knows, it may turn out to be one of your passions in life.  And don't forget, if you have a hunch about something, just send us an email and we'll do our best to give it a whirl and get back to you.

Quest Check:
We are interested in keeping you interested in learning outdoors.  So, check back with us on a regular basis to see if your interests match our quests.

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