Blog post compiled by the 350VT team

In the cool spring earth
two holes we’ve dug side by side
we’ll fill them with hope
– Haiku by Chandra Bossard, Brattleboro Mother Up! parent

Ward delivers saplings on a cargo bike, credit Maria Ogden

Saplings bundled for distribution, credit Maria Ogden

In honor of both the 50th Earth Day and Wangari Maathai, founder of the “Green Belt Movement” and a trailblazer in fierce advocacy for democracy, human rights and environmental conservation who would have turned 80 on April 1st, 350 Brattleboro and Extinction Rebellion of Southern Vermont collaborated on a #PlantInPlace action in the Brattleboro area. While people weren’t able to gather together, this celebration of spring gave people the opportunity to plant (alone) together. This solutions-oriented action has an abundance of positive impacts; for example, planting fruit and nut trees sequesters carbon, grows community ties, and increases local resilience. In total, 300 bare-root nut tree saplings—100 each of American Hazelnut, Chinese Chestnut and Black Walnut—were given away for free to plant in the local community.  People were provided with planting instructions and asked to share photos and stories on social media with the hashtags #PlantInPlace, #EarthDay2020, and #ClimateStrikeOnline. 350 Brattleboro celebrated how the action helped people to join in “reimagining and recreating a future with more trees!”

Walnut saplings, credit David Shaw

Check out these photos and reflections on this rewarding Earth Week action:

Saplings planted by Zak Grace & Jana Zeller

Planting with three generations: Pat, David, Luna; credit David Shaw

“XRSVT has always had a great relationship with 350 Brattleboro. Our latest collaboration brought 300 nut tree saplings to our community. The action was conceived of when the Covid-19 crisis came to our shores and ensured that we would be unable to gather together to celebrate Earth Day and stand shoulder to shoulder to demand business and government leaders immediately take concrete actions to address the climate crisis, prioritizing justice in those actions. The shared saplings represent hope for our planet. They will sequester carbon as they grow, they will feed us in the future building a more resilient community, and they draw us together with the common bond of creating a better world. When it is safe, we hope to all be able to gather together again and both celebrate our strength and demand the change we so desperately need. In the meantime, we will plant these trees with intention and continue the struggle in place. Thanks to everyone who participated, and 350 Brattleboro for being such extraordinary partners in action!”
Ward Ogden, lead organizer

Ward bundles tree saplings, credit Maria Ogden

“I am extremely excited about the growth of these trees because we will be planting them in honor of my soon to be baby sister or brother-who has a due date of Earth Day <3 We will watch him/her grow along with the trees, as has been done for all my siblings and me. These trees will be a way of connecting with my family and connecting with the earth…Thank you for starting this beautiful project, and giving people hope of a better future even in times like these; when the future is uncertain. Planting a tree is a way of showing hope for the future, and I am extremely hopeful. Especially for the future of the earth! With sunshine and light.”
Bay Holmes

Hole for sapling, credit Bay Holmes

“Thank you 350 Brattleboro and Extinction Rebellion Southern Vermont for distributing free trees today! The simple act of planting a tree is one of resilience and resistance that I really needed right now. So much gratitude <3.”
Christine Colascione

Sapling distribution, credit David Shaw

“Planted two hazelnut trees today for Earth Day. Thank you 350 Brattleboro #PlantInPlace #EarthDay2020 #ClimateStrikesOnline.”
George Carvill

Hazelnut saplings, credit George Carvill