Remember the Trees

Kids4Trees and Veterans for Trees Join Forces To Plant 300 Pines at Mil Potrero Park

By Patric Hedund

“We planted a whole lot of trees and I named mine ‘Misty,’” explained El Tejon School student Kailee Maikai, 9. “I want to see if my mom can bring me here to check on it,” Kailee continued.

“That’s exactly right,” smiled Stephen Redner, founder of Kids4Trees and coordinator of last week’s events in the Los Padres National Forest, “we want the children to be stewards of the forests.”

‘Misty’ is a Jeffrey pine, one of 300 that were planted at the Mil Potrero Campground by children and veterans on Friday and Saturday, April 9-10, just west of the community of Pine Mountain.

“I think we had about 250 local children on Friday and about 40 scouts on Saturday,” founder of Veterans for Trees Richard Sheffield said. About 12 U.S. Armed Services Veterans came to support the event and mentor children, he estimates. Sheffield is co-owner of Antioch Nursery and Tree Farm based in Lake of the Woods. He recently launched Veterans for Trees with planting ceremonies at the Cody Prosser Veterans Memorial in Frazier Mountain Park. On March 27 the group planted trees at the VFW Post 9791 in Frazier Park.

An instant hit with the children were Olympic athletes Reynaldo Brown (who competed in the 1968 and 1972 Olympics with a 7 foot, 8 inch personal best) and Tracy Mattes who was the “7th fastest women in the world,” in the 400 meter hurdle at the 1996 Olympics. She is director of global programs for World Olympians Association.

They are working with Kids4Trees to “plant the link between sports and the environment,” including a “no drugs, no steroids,” exercise and healthy eating message.

Also popular were the singalong session with “Always Remember the Trees,” and “Ecosystem, Not Egosystem” by Valerie Ponzio and Gary Pickus of the group Greenway Drive, which contributed to the Kids4Trees CD.

This is part of the April 16, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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