If trees could talk, they would use the voices of those present at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS)‘s Tree Tenders Picnic with a Purpose last Saturday. Between forty and fifty representatives from Tree Tenders groups around Philadelphia, the surrounding counties, and New Jersey met at the Navy Yard to discuss tree issues and brainstorm solutions.
Staff from PHS, UC Green, and the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department (PPR), along with volunteers who have organized tree plantings, pose at the PHS Tree Tenders Picnic with a Purpose. They are standing in one of the Navy Yard’s warehouses, where the materials for their Flower Shows are both made and stored.
The Navy Yard is home to PHS’s Flower Show materials, along with many other businesses and attractions. Tree Tenders braved the drenching rain to look for nearby London plane, American holly, red maple, catalpa, Scotch pine, and other trees in a scavenger hunt.
We each brainstormed a tree issue and then voted on which we’d like to discuss. After splitting into small groups, we ruminated on the most popular tree topics including connecting to trees, and tree maps and mapping software.
A PHS staff member and a Tree Tender who worked at The Navy Yard for thirty years led tours of the base. There are many trees, but they are planted in monoculture rows along the streets. Check out this article from Marple in Delaware County about the benefits of polyculture to learn why it’s better to have more than one species planted in one place.
At the end of the picnic, the Tree Tenders dispersed to take their newly brainstormed solutions home to their groups.
To get involved with a Tree Tenders group in your area, click here!