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Planting Hope

Growing up with a father in the military meant I was able to call many different places “home.” No matter where we were, my dad taught my brother and I one rule; to always leave the place better than when we arrived.

My father’s efforts have shown what a single, dedicated individual can achieve when motivated by compassion and respect for nature and the community. He is a reserved, quiet man who has worked diligently all his life to preserve the rural character of his current community ~ wherever our family was stationed, whether it be for 3 years, 5 years or 19 years ~ he ensured we put back into the land as much as we had taken.

Trees and birds are often the focal point of his projects. In Kentucky, he has transformed the land into a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The past months, he has added enhancements of Red Chokecherry Shrubs, Winterberry Shrubs, Red Mulberry Trees, Holly Tree, Dogwood Trees, Hackberry Trees, and Shadbush Serviceberry Trees. All these types of plants were chosen because they provide winter food and materials for birds to survive. He is truly giving back to the land by creating a wildlife sanctuary for the animals, as well as a healing sanctuary for his family.

It was a blessing in disguise to be visiting my parents in Kentucky when the COVID-19 quarantine began. I was able to take it as an opportunity to slow down and be reminded of my father’s lesson. The Bluebird Restoration Project was growing every year with new projects, new people, and new problems to solve. Spending time with my family took me back to the basics. No need to do it all at once, a simple act like planting a tree could help save the world.

Planting a tree is a simple, easy, and a necessary act that anyone can accomplish. Trees are so important to our world, they enhance all the elements around us;

Earth – Forming strong roots to help distribute nutrients to the dirt

Wind – Creating oxygen and letting it flow through the air

Fire – Once the tree has made its mark in the living word, it dies to create habitat for

wildlife or kindling for our fires

Love –Trees are hope, trees are love. They are our companion on this planet and

we need to take care of them because they take care of us.

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