These 1308 trees are amongst the beautiful gifts from nature we learn and play in everyday here at daycare on Burnaby Mountain. These children have a deep love and respect for the trees and all they give us and they show this gratitude daily through their relationship with the forests and animals here.
I shared the article from the Burnaby Now with them and wanted to share our resulting conversation here with you. It’s a little long but I hope it fills you with hope as it does me.
(S is 5 yrs and C is 4 yrs)
S: Why do they have to do that?!?!?
Me: I believe they must need some space for the project they are working on there.
S: What is the project?
Me: They have something called bitumen over there in those pipes and barrels which they collect and ship to other countries for money. These countries use that for stuff like roads and to make plastics and gasoline for cars.
S: If they do that I won’t let them in my kingdom ever again! They don’t have the right to do that!! We can’t let them do this…it’s hurting the Earth!
C: I hope they don’t come to my house because I’m worried they will chop down my favourite tree.
S: I’m worried most about endangered bird species. If they chop down all those trees they can kill 9098 of birds!
C: If they chop down the trees they will hurt the babies in their shells.
Me: So what can we do about this?
S: We can start a club. We can invite Teacher Roz and we can invite other teachers too. Our club will tell all the other parents to start protesting. Protesting is when we tell the Oncelers (aka TMX with credit to the Lorax) and the Mayor and the people in our community that we don’t like this and it has to stop.
Me: What if they ask why or say no?
S: Then we will start only protesting for the Mayor and the person that’s in charge of the Mayor…we will protest to them too We should tell them that they should make a new law that the Oncelers can’t do that anymore.
C: We should tell the principal and the police when they make the new law and they will go tell the Oncelers the new law.
Me: The Oncelers may ask, if we can’t do this anymore then what can we do?
S: They could start good Earth jobs like getting solar energy. That doesn’t hurt the Earth! And, we can also ask them to pick up garbage when we can’t.
C: Like replacing the trees that they chopped down….like planting another tree on top of the tree they chopped down. On every tree they chopped down. We’re gonna help them. Planting new trees anytime is such a lovely idea.
I wanted to keep that idea alive while highlighting the important role time plays in the matter. We looked again at the picture in the article of one of the trees set for removal.
Me: If you tried to hug this tree, how old do you think it is? (We have stopped to count rings in many forest stumps in the past).
S: 200 years old! It’s really big and strong. It cleans more air than the baby trees.
C: My favourite tree is really big to climb! The children paused here, seeming to let the realization settle in them.
C: Another solution is they could only chop down the rotten trees, not the living ones.
So what now? How do I help empower these young solutionaries? For now, I leave here pictures of their love for these forests expressed through art and later we shall sit and begin our letter to the Mayor to see where that takes us.
Big Love, Peaceful Earth Warriors #1308trees