What five-year-old boy wouldn’t jump at the chance to man the controls of an excavator – a REAL excavator, not just a toy? Today, on Earth Day, Aidan was the lucky young man to do exactly that.
Aidan and his dad were watching Sprigs and Twigs, Inc., the official landscape company of Mystic Seaport, plant two Black Gum trees on the Museum’s Village Green. Co-owner Bill Lillie said it isn’t only youngsters who are fascinated by the digging machine. He recalled a woman in her mid-80s, a customer for whom he was working. She seemed intrigued with the excavator, so much to her delight, Bill invited her to give the machine a try herself, and she did – for almost 30 minutes!
Watching Sprigs and Twigs co-owner Linda Lillie and her staff ready the trees for planting was an education in itself. Linda explained that it’s a critical time for a tree when it is planted. If not properly prepared, it will not thrive; you can’t just plop the earth ball into the ground and cover it with dirt.
One of the new trees that now shades our Village Green.
The roots need to be trimmed to stimulate growth and to prevent them from encircling the trunk and choking it. And you know that flare in a tree trunk’s base – that has to be uncovered and show above ground for a tree’s healthy and successful future. Courtney, who manages Sprigs and Twigs’ landscape division, says the Black Gum trees can grow anywhere from six to 12 inches yearly.
Thank you, Sprigs & Twigs!
Mystic Seaport’s Supervisor of Grounds Kara Lally says wildlife, especially birds, find Black Gum trees irresistible; they love the blossoms and nutty fruits they produce.
So, Earth Day 2010 has been a great day at Mystic Seaport. Two new trees now grace the Village Green and will eventually offer more shade from summer’s sun and the birds will be happy to discover new feasting grounds. The sun was out today and the temperature was perfect; it was a very good Earth Day at Mystic Seaport…and thank you, Sprigs and Twigs.
Blog written by Trudi Busey
I recently read about banking heir, David de Rothschild, sailing across the Pacific Ocean on a catamaran made from 12,000 discarded plastic bottles! His boat is rather appropriately named Plastiki, and Mr. de Rothschild is on a mission to showcase the need to recycle.
He hopes to make people aware that trash, carelessly and thoughtlessly tossed into the ocean, can often end up as lethal litter to sea animals and sea birds. In 1999, an oceanographer identified a mass of plastic at least 1,000 miles across swirling about in the Pacific Ocean. Yuck! Unfortunately, on a smaller scale, lakes and rivers probably suffer the same man-made abuses.
Of course, wooden boats take center stage at Mystic Seaport, but as the Museum of America and the Sea, our mission really isn’t so different from Mr. de Rothschild’s. It all boils down to respect for the sea and being good custodians of it. To know it is to love it, is a familiar phrase, and one usually takes care of something one loves, right?
Through classes, lectures, exhibits and hands-on activities, the Museum’s goal is to educate visitors about our nation’s nautical history and heritage. Once that personal connection to the sea takes hold, Mr. de Rothschild’s sailboat, Plastica, doesn’t seem so far out after all. We all need to do our part in taking better care of our oceans, lakes and rivers. Consider this; next time you think you’ve seen a jellyfish floating by, according to de Rothschild, it could just be a plastic bag. That grosses me out more than a jellyfish!
Blog written by Trudi Busey