|7/23/23 Luma, a culturally significant cedar in Wedgwood, and an idle excavator on the adjacent property.|
|8/3/23 This healthy Douglas fir growing where |
a housing development will be built was cut down
11 days after I sketched it. Maple Leaf neighborhood.
I’m fortunate to live in a city where trees are a prominent part of the urban landscape, and I always enjoy including trees in my urban sketches (especially when utility poles, wires and other human-made features are involved). Working on Luma’s story, however, gave me a much greater appreciation for the sketch reportage process – that it’s much more than just the fun of urban sketching as I have always known it.
In addition, I learned much about my subject matter: Mature trees like Luma are being cut down at an alarming rate all over Seattle, especially in less affluent neighborhoods. Living a comfy, privileged life in Maple Leaf, I had understood the term “climate justice” only peripherally. Suddenly I was becoming aware of how much is at stake when trees that take a century to grow are eliminated from the landscape. The impact is socio-economical as well as environmental.
|8/14/23 In the Roosevelt neighborhood, a resident had ordered this 100-year-old Deodar cedar to be cut down to accommodate a new plumbing line. Tree activists gathered on the morning of the scheduled cutting to raise awareness among neighbors.|
Using information I’m learning from the organization Tree Action Seattle, I’m trying to sketch as many threatened trees as I can, especially those near my own neighborhood. The numbers are staggering – I can’t sketch fast enough, and sometimes I’m too late. But every tree I sketch has become an opportunity to express gratitude to all trees that silently provide service to all of us every day.
|9/9/23 Tree Action Seattle informed concerned citizens about this block of trees slated to be cut down in Shoreline. Unfortunately, I couldn't get there before the cutting. Fliers urging neighbors to voice their concern still hung from the stumps.|