Remarkable Trees Project
Virginia Tech forestry professor and extension specialist Jeffrey Kirwan and outdoor author/lecturer Nancy Ross Hugo have completed a two-year search to find Virginia's special trees. Dr. Kirwan said, "We asked citizens to search their communities and natural areas for trees that are remarkable because of age, size, beauty, uniqueness, connection to the community, or historical and cultural significance. We're searching for trees that have unusual forms or interesting stories associated with them."
The effort culminated with a keepsake book highlighting Virginia's top 100 trees. The 176-page book, published in 2008, included full-color photographs taken by internationally-known photographer Robert Llewellyn from Charlottesville VA. Everyone who nominated a tree to the Remarkable Trees of Virginia Project will have his or her name listed on the project website and in the culminating book.
Trees Virginia, served as the project's coordinating sponsor. Additional support was provided by Bartlett Tree Experts, the Virginia Forestry Educational Foundation, and the Virginia Tech Department of Forestry. Individuals also contributed to the project; all gifts to Trees Virginia were tax deductible.
Dr. Kirwan and Ms. Hugo, who have worked together previously to develop and maintain Virginia's big tree register program, invited children, adults, professional tree experts and amateur tree lovers to participate in the project by nominating remarkable trees from their communities. The project organizers also looked for "tree places,"- parks, arboreta, and gardens where the public can visit remarkable trees.
"We contacted schools, 4-H clubs, and scouting groups throughout the state to try and get youth involved with the project," Dr. Kirwan said. Hugo added that, "the project encourages children to connect not just to trees in general but to specific trees. We want them to look carefully at the trees in their neighborhoods, so that they'll begin to feel connected to specific trees and their habitats, not just to anonymous nature."
Dr. Kirwan and Ms. Hugo's project is an offshoot of the 2006 National Register of Big Trees, prepared by American Forests. That list, published continuously since 1940, documents the biggest of 822 species of trees. Dr. Kirwan has been maintaining Virginia's official tree register (Virginia Big Tree Program), which has provided 43 national champion trees and puts Virginia fifth in the nation for having the most big trees by species. The Virginia Forestry Association and the Virginia Urban Forest Council (Trees Virginia), provide support for Dr. Kirwan to keep the big tree register.
Dr. Kirwan discussed the Remarkable Trees of Virginia Project on VFH Radio show, "With Good Reason," the week of March 4-10. For local airtimes, streaming audio, and podcasts of the show, interested persons can visit the show's website at http://www.withgoodreasonradio.org .
Last Updated (Sunday, 21 July 2013 20:07)