Trees aren’t just meant for forests. What does your yard tell us about you? It shows whether you understand nature’s natural systems. Your trash reveals these things as well. Monroe County Solid Waste Management District’s Community Outreach Coordinator Elisa Pokral says, “Both rewilding yards, i.e. planting native species, removing invasives, and the practice of reusing and recycling, are actions that care for our shared natural resources of water, soil, air, plants, and wildlife. Your yard and your trash can be very revealing of beliefs, attitudes, ideas, and values-- what you care and do not care about. However, an abundance of trees and bushes in your yard and managing your waste responsibly by recycling, shows awareness and action about things that impact you and your environment.” Executive Director Tom McGlasson, Jr. thanks all those who recycle and use District services during the year. McGlasson states, “We can all contribute to the sustainability of our earth every day.” To honor Earth Day April 22nd and Arbor Day April 24th, and people’s efforts to be part of nature’s cycles, McGlasson states, “We encourage the public to celebrate individual and community efforts and the District’s many milestones of enhanced services at our five county locations, by planting a tree.”
Where do you get your tree? Between April 19th through April 22nd, while supplies last, pick up a FREE TREE SEEDLING, donated by the District, and seedling planting instructions at the SOUTH WALNUT RECYCLING CENTER located at 3400 South Walnut Street. Pokral says, “In collaboration with this event, CanopyBloomington, will provide tree care consultation.” CanopyBloomington’s Forestry Director, Hannah Gregory invites you to learn best home tree care practices so you can be a great steward to your home and neighborhood’s trees. Gregory states, “We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Monroe County Solid Waste District for their Earth Day Tree Giveaway! They’ll provide the tree seedlings, and we’ll provide you with the information you need to properly plant and care for your tree to get it off to the best start. CanopyBloomington volunteers and staff will be there Thursday through Saturday to consult with you.
If you’re not familiar with the District’s 5 recycling centers, you may also pick up information on accepted recycling materials from paper to electronics and dispose of over the counter medicines. Pokral states, “You can also share your tree stories and green stories-- your reasons for recycling and other earth care actions, and visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and the District’s web site at gogreendistrict.com.”
Why plant a trees? Pokral states, “Recycling and reusing help the earth in many ways and planting trees does too. Studies indicate some of the benefits of planting trees and “rewilding” properties are that trees increase property values, reduce aggression and violence, reduce energy consumption, reduce pollution, (soil, water, and air), prevent soil erosion, regulate climate, provide a habitat for animals, and provide a better habitat for all living creatures. Pokral says, “When you plant trees, you grow community, support biodiversity, mitigate climate change, and improve health, health of humans and health of the ecosystem.”
In Indiana Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. Arbor Day which is now celebrated internationally, was founded in the 1880's in Nebraska due to Nebraska’s lack of trees. During the 1870's, other states began to observe it as well and the tradition began in the schools nationwide in 1882.German forester Peter Wohlleben, reports that from counting and learning to communicating and caring for each other, the secret lives of trees are wildly deep and complex." Trees can also remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the 'Wood Wide Web' – and, they exchange water and nutrients through their roots and a mycorrhizal network. These are just a few of the secrets that researcher and authors Peter Wohlleben, and Professor Suzanne Simard, have learned about trees.
Pokral says, “Let’s celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day with our thoughts and actions. Gratitude to all the K-12 teachers who book me for a series of free environmental sessions throughout the year. This vital citizen science information, aligned with state standards, is then shared with many generations. The impacts of climate change urge us on. So, Think Earth every day. Sustain the world by taking green actions such as reducing waste, reusing what you can, and recycling to create a healthy word, and learning about and imitating earth’s natural systems.”
The District reminds the public that tours of South Walnut facilities are offered to individuals and groups year-round, as are educational opportunities on “Citizen Science”/environmental education. Call Ms. Pokral at 812-349-2020 for tour and session bookings. Pokral says, “Make this Earth Day/Arbor Day your milestone for rewilding and recycling and tell your friends, relatives, and neighbors. Don’t leave any generation out. Stop by the SOUTH WALNUT RECYCLING CENTER APRIL 19TH - APRIL 22ND FROM 8:30 AM TO 5:00 PM, while supplies last and pick out a free tree seedling (one per family). CanopyBloomington will be there Thursday through Saturday to consult regarding tree care. Let the District help you “Think Earth and take action.” Visit us at Gogreendistrict.com or call 812-349-2020.
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