BikePortland

Guest editorial: Planting trees by bike


“….[Without a bike trailer] it would have been several times as much work to get 3 dozen trees, several hundred pounds of mulch, wood stakes, and several gallons of water to the entire 1/4 mile planting area.”

[This article was written by contributor Aaron Tarfman.]

On Saturday I went out to be a part of the Friends of Trees planting event along the I-205 path. The staging area was near the top of the hill by SE Alder St & SE 94th Ave.

I’ve volunteered with this group several times before and I appreciate the work that they do. I was also a little disturbed by some comments about the event made on BikePortland, and it was my hope to make a more positive impression. I don’t always have success with showing people the wisdom of human powered transportation, but it was worth bringing the trailer out to give it a try.

As soon as I arrived, I met with Friends of Trees’ Andy Meeks, whose face lit up like a Christmas tree when he saw that I’d brought my superlong-schlepper.

Aaron Tarfman, his trailer, and “the wisdom of human powered transportation”.
(Photos: Toshio Suzuki)

Andy had plenty of volunteers, but it would have been several times as much work to get 3 dozen trees, several hundred pounds of mulch, wood stakes, and several gallons of water to the entire 1/4 mile planting area. So after signing in I immediately got to work with him to get the right trees to the most distant planting location (which was luckily downhill). Once the trees were delivered I brought down stakes, and then began filling a wheelbarrow with mulch and carrying that down. The last task was to get water from the fire hydrant near 94th down to the farthest trees.

New trees, with I-205 path along the right.

One of the folks there asked me how I felt about some of the disparaging comments made about the tree planting and I told him that I appreciate everyone who makes a significant effort to support ecological awareness. Some people do this by eating vegetarian/vegan, some do it by bike commuting, and some do it by planting hundreds of trees. But we’re all helping in some way. It really helped that the trees were evergreens and they were being planted at least 10 feet from the path, so tree roots, and falling leaves were not going to be an issue.

All in all I was thrilled to be a part of this and to have made the volunteers’ day more cheerful and less strenuous.

Friends of Trees will be doing another tree planting along the I-205 path on January 9th. The event starts at 9am until 1pm. The staging area will be at NE Marine Dr and NE 112th Ave. Contact Andy Meeks at AndyM@FriendsofTrees.org or 503-282-8846 x24 for more information.

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