Eight New Trees for Downtown DC

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Before

Yesterday we spent all morning at the corner of 8th and H Streets NW, the home of eight new trees!

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After

Casey Trees is a non-profit that plants trees all over the city. If you have access to private property in DC, they will help you select the best tree for your space, plant it and maintain it. Hmmm… we have an empty spot in our box out front. I believe it needs a tree.

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Five of our trees were from the National Cherry Blossom Festival. They plant three trees around the city every year and Calvary was this year’s recipient! Next year is the centennial of the Cherry Blossom Festival. What a great honor.

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Two school groups came to volunteer along with members of the Downtown BID. One of the school groups was The SEED School, the boarding school featured in Waiting for Superman. When I asked the chaperone if they were featured in the movie, I immediately teared up. I went to see Waiting for Superman by myself one night after a particularly stressful day. Probably not the best choice for me personally considering I was a stressed-out parent living in DC, but it is definitely a must-see. I sobbed throughout the movie and almost broke down just watching the On-Demand Preview.

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I kept Lucy in her stroller for the first hour, because I was worried she might run out into the street. Later Jo-Jo took her out and she did great! She owned the 8th Street sidewalk. She never once ventured towards H Street on her own, nor off the sidewalk. It was as if she knew her natural boundaries without me telling her.

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Plus Lucy loved playing with Maya, whom she calls My. She was full of hugs and very excited to see her. I think they had a lot of fun playing together all day.

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While Lucy was still in her stroller, I pointed out the watering cans that were lying on the ground. I told her that she was going to get to water the trees as her job. Before we went to NC, I had her help me water the plants in the apartment. This was one of my chores when I was little and she clearly loves it. I even have the little copper watering can I found in the basement. We used it again today.

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When the time came, Lucy picked up the watering can and tried to water the blossoms. There were lots of pictures of this activity! (There was a planting crowd and a photography crowd for our event.) Once the trees were upright, Lucy tried to toss the water from the can up to the blossoms. It took her a while to understand that we were watering the dirt.

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After we finished planting the trees, we held a ceremony in honor of the cherry blossoms and Japan. It was quite moving as we gathered to hear that Japan had suffered from another large earthquake. I enjoyed Ryan’s presentation about his experience of living in Japan and learning about the importance of the cherry blossoms to their culture. The notion of the ephemeral quality of the blossoms being a reminder of the sweet cycle of life will always stand out in my mind.

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photo taken by Lucy

Thanks to Amanda, my fellow Trustee and Building Committee member for applying for a grant with Casey Trees. I received way more credit than I deserved. But I am excited to be part of this project.

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Phil sent us a great email about how he was always inspired by trees that his father planted and he was able to enjoy years later. We can’t wait to visit the cherry trees thirty years from now!

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