“ A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in”.
This quote drew my attention as I was reading an article that came to my inbox a few days ago. While it has been attributed to many societies, individuals and places, it is appropriate given the work currently occurring at the Conservancy. (This quote has an additional and I might say much greater relevance for all of us, but more on this in another post.)
Last time I talked about how the goats had finished their grazing on the invasive buckthorn. The 9 acre enclosure in the SW area of the conservancy was chosen because of its heavy buckthorn infestation. The goats did a great job of clearing virtually everything buckthorn growing under 6 feet tall. Work continued in the area by our Wednesday morning stewards and Girl Scout Troop 6377 from Hartford pitched in a morning as well. Now comes some heavy lifting from the West Bend Par
ks crew removing the rather large piles of branches and several large ash trees that have succumbed to the emerald ash borer in the area.
All of this work is being accomplished through a matching grant between the Friends of LLC and the South Eastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium. (SEWISC). Once the cleanup has been completed, the area will be treated so the buckthorn does not re-grow. The next step is to plant trees native to LLC and SE Wisconsin. Sugar maple, tamarack, beech and basswood will start the reforestation efforts. This spring, a few native woodland plants from our flower sale will make their appearance to help add to those few natives remaining.
Once the trees are planted, then what will it take? Rain, sun, spring-summer-fall, repeated over a generation before someone can walk in the shade they provide. Why do we do this? Because we at the Conservancy choose to commit to leaving this place better than we found it. We plant trees, even though we know we will never be able to sit in their shade. I think Lawrence and Ann would be proud.
See you on the trails.
Paul De Chant