“We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.” 

Rev. Peter Raible

As we take time to unwind during the summer months, many of us head for spaces that offer shelter from the intense sun. Often, that means going to a park, a trail, a cottage, or to your backyard, to find the cooling shade of a tree. We even instinctively walk on the shaded side of a downtown sidewalk to find relief.

As we become shade-seekers over the summer, we don’t often think about who might have taken the time to plant and nurture those same trees twenty, thirty, or maybe even fifty years ago. Today we benefit from the work done by municipalities, institutions, companies, community groups, and private landowners who planted trees in our urban environments all those years ago. While we may not stop to think about why they decided to plant those trees in the first place, we are benefitting from their foresight. And, as the poem goes on to state…

“This is as it should be.

Together we are more than any one person could be.

Together we can build across the generations…”

A community’s tree canopy is a testament to the collective efforts of those with a vision for the future. Planting an urban tree now is an act of generosity that will benefit generations to come. And who knows…maybe someday, someone will sit under and enjoy the shade of a tree that you planted and be grateful for your vision and present act of generosity.