“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.” Joyce Kilmer
Trees are lovely, and beyond their aesthetic virtue, the important role trees play in our environment as bulwarks against the ravages of climate change are well known and documented.
But let us talk about something less recognized, yet equally important: birds.
Birds, you say? It's quite simple: Birds need trees, and trees need birds for seed dispersal and reforestation. Birds perch in trees, nest in trees, roost in trees and eat the insects that live in and on trees.
One of my earliest memories is taking naps under the two oak trees in our front yard, waking up to the song of the birds around us. Thus began my love of birds – a love shared by millions of birdwatchers in the U.S., and locally by members of the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society.
The relationship between birds and trees is yet another measure available to us in assessing the role our urban tree canopy plays in our environment and in our society. We need to recognize this tremendous asset and the need to protect it by providing a guardian and a plan for this treasure that Asheville is so fortunate to have.
I encourage you to share your memories of what trees and birds meant to you as a means of demonstrating the need for an urban forester to manage an urban forest master plan for Asheville.
Share your thoughts.
Cathy Walsh, Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society
Chair, External Relations and Advocacy, Tree Protection Task Force