by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture
As an umbrella organization for South King County cultural groups, SoCoCulture is pleased to have as members a number of institutions that are rooted in botany (pardon the pun). Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden, Soos Creek Botanical Garden and PowellsWood, along with the Shadow Lake Nature Preserve and the Pacific Bonsai Museum, all have added a green perspective to our mission, and as they’ve shared their programming with us, we’ve increasingly come to recognize that trees are indeed a vital part of our culture.
- Trees clean the air, conserve energy, combat climate change, and provide oxygen – did you know that in one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people?
- Trees also conserve water, reduce water pollution, and help prevent soil erosion.
- Trees provide food for humans and other living creatures (the robins and I were in a contest this year to see who could get the most cherries off the tree in my garden), and trees provide habitat for wildlife.
- Trees cool neighborhoods with their shade, and they cool tempers, too – studies have shown that barren neighborhoods have more violent incidents than their greener counterparts.
We need to take all this to heart, because as the human population in South King County continues to grow at a robust rate, green space and trees are vulnerable to development. To that end, we’ve launched the “Engaging Trees” initiative here in South King County to encourage everyone who lives here to learn more about trees via the programming presented by SoCoCulture’s botanical members (check our calendar for upcoming events, or visit their websites directly). We want folks to understand the importance and value of trees in our landscape, and to advocate for a tree-friendly region!