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When a tree falls and people are listening, it makes a big sound

This is a huge old Oak tree that came down in The Storm. It is in Orton Park, the original Madison park. Luckily, the park has many many old oaks and only three were felled in The Storm.

When the City tree clean-up troops came through, the neighbors staged something like a sit-in. The tree was left in place with "Caution" tape around it. Neighbors quickly built a campaign to use the tree as a story-starter.

The story is a good one, so the press has helped to spread it:

If a unique play structure gets built from the fallen trunk, the story continues. The kids who live nearby might remember The Storm, or they will remember the story of it at least, and that their parents got involved. Parents and kids will be more connected to the park, and the neighborhood. It's all so great!

It's not easy to get these things to happen. It seems like when people have good ideas like this, it should be easy, but it takes tenacity, confidence, and vision. I'm so excited that these neighbors seem to have what it takes, and I'm so excited for this tree to have a new life!

We will be loosing many trees to the Emerald Ash Borer in the near future, and we need our trees to keep us healthy and happy. Studies show, we really do benefit from living in this urban forest.

And we need city agencies to be responsive when neighbors have good ideas, get organized, and do what is termed place-making. Because when a project like this succeeds, the neighbors see the power they have to make their place even better, and their kids see that, too. I just know that the larger impact this one fallen tree will have is huge, so I'm glad someone heard it fall.

Read more about playground improvement at Reynolds Park.
Like the Orton Park Natural Play group on facebook.

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