Funded with an Airport Communities Ecology grant from the Port of Seattle, SoCoCulture (the South King County Cultural Coalition) this fall is presenting a series of talks on the cultural importance of trees in our local communities.
At a time when development pressures are forcing the cutting of many wooded tracts throughout South King County, some of the botanical gardens and historical societies that are members in SoCoCulture created an Engaging Trees Initiative to draw attention to the significance of trees in our landscapes and in our lives.
One of the outcomes was the introduction this summer of a crowd-sourced story-map of trees on the SoCoCulture.org website. Anybody can access the online map to upload a photo of a tree or grove that is special to them, and include a description about why it is important.
The Forest for the Trees story map was created by artist Katherine Wimble Fox with a grant from 4Culture. It can be visited, and added to, at https://sococulture.org/engaging-trees/
Now the Engaging Trees Speaker Series will bring a new level of story sharing about trees. The series is comprised of three programs, each of which is free to the public.
The first program happens at 7 p.m. Sept. 19, and will feature a panel discussion on “The Cultural Value of Trees.” Panelists will include Rose Clark/Des Moines Memorial Drive Preservation Committee; collage artist Linda McClamrock; Joanna Nelson de Flores/Forterra; and Ken Workman, member of the Duwamish Tribe and a direct descendant of Chief Seattle. This program is being hosted by the Des Moines Historical Society and will take place at the Des Moines Oddfellows Hall, 728 S. 225th St., Des Moines.
The next event occurs at 9 a.m. Oct. 13. Writer/naturalist Jim Demetre will lead “A Natural and Cultural History Hike Through Trees,” beginning at the Des Moines Creek Trailhead at 2151 S. 200th St. in SeaTac. This program will provide a Spanish language interpreter.
The culminating program will happen at 2 p.m. Nov. 18, when Seattle Times environmental reporter Lynda Mapes appears at the Burien Library, 400 SW 152nd St., to discuss her 2017 book, “Witness Tree,” and what people can learn from trees.
This program is being co-hosted by the Highline Heritage Museum, which also is serving as the fiscal sponsor for the entire series.
The Engaging Trees Speaker Series has been curated by SoCoCulture and more information can be found at SoCoCulture.org/calendar.
In addition to the partners mentioned above, additional support has been provided by 4Culture, the Highline School District’s Waskowitz Environmental Leadership School, and the King County Library System.