Finding the hero in your yard |

Finding the hero in your yard

Sam Bauman
Appeal Staff Writer

You don’t have to be a tree-hugger to show that you care about our leafy, comforting friends. You can do it by voting for the first Carson City Shade Tree Hero.

Another election? Haven’t we got enough already? No, not enough. This is an election where there are no losers, but the city and its residents are winners.

You can help pick our Hero by voting before Sept. 14 at City Hall, 201 N. Carson St.; the Carson City Library, 900 N. Roop St.; or the Greenhouse Garden Center, 2450 S. Curry St.

There are seven trees in the running, all selected by members of the City Shade Tree Council. The trees are marked with a green ribbon around the trunk or a limb. Here’s where they are:

• 1900 Maxwell Road, Norma Furnal residence, pine, age unknown.

• 1890 Newman Place, Louis and Barbara Larson, red oak, 20 plus years old.

• 3201 Baker Drive, Robert Lawson, horse chestnut, eight years old.

• 2 Circle Drive, Mae McGowan, blue spruce, 55 years old.

• 605 Drew Way, Dawn Shaughnessy, Idaho locust, 32 years old.

• 1529 Telegraph St., Tammy Holt, cottonwood, 30 plus years old.

• 404 Mary St., Shawn Springer, willow, 70 plus years old.

“The idea is to call attention to the importance of trees in a community and to raise public awareness about the need to preserve and protect them,” said council member Mary Moline, who came up with the Hero idea.

She said only trees in a front yard should qualify and the seven members of the Shade Tree Council agreed, each picking a favorite tree. It doesn’t count if they’re on government or business land.

One Hero tree will be chosen by residents each year.

“Trees benefit us in many ways. We’d like people to stop and think about how important they are,” noted council Chairwoman Carol Roberts.

Recently some scientists have theorized that the loss of forests through history has been the cause of the downfall of cultures, such as that on Easter Island in the remote Pacific, where once all the trees were cut down to help make religious statues life ended. That’s not something we need to worry about if we continue to take care of our trees, only cutting down diseased ones or old and sagging ones.

Trees are crucial in taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and replacing it with free oxygen. Trees help control erosion. Trees offer shade when the temperature soars to the 100-degree mark. Trees are great things to sit under for a picnic or to smooch with a lover. Trees made great dugouts. Trees make the lumber we use to build our houses.

Trees inspire poetry, such as Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees.” That poem is part of every American’s childhood education. Trees inspire us; they did Mary Moline who wrote “I Am a Tree” (see the poem on this page).

Sometime after our Hero has been selected it will be wrapped with a purple ribbon with appropriate speech-making. Should be a great day for Carson City and its residents. You’ll want to be there, right?

• Contact Sam Bauman at or 881-1236.

I Am a Tree

My stoic stance

Belies the fact

That I am frail

But, not a flower.

The shadow that I cast

Is emblematic

Of my power.

Hidden roots

Sustain my girth,

Outstretched limbs

Reach for the stars.

Please don’t plant me

In a parking lot,

I can’t compete

With moving cars.

I need room to sink

My roots to grow,

Something city planners

Refuse to know.

The asphalt’s hot!

God did not intend

I should live

In a parking lot.

Ð Mary Moline