Today we went to a training session for the city’s Neighborwoods program. The program coordinator, Micki McNaughton, gave a presentation for the first part, and then we planted some trees for the 2nd part.

Presentation is maybe the wrong word.? It was a friendly and energetic conversation and explanation of the program and general care of young trees from a woman with obviously love for both trees and her job.? I have handouts, with notes on them; I almost wish I’d had my camera to take pictures of her sketching on the whiteboard the various sections of the tree, how they work, etc.

Topping is her particular nemesis, and apparently the city is getting ready to roll out a huge anti-topping campaign soon.? My favorite trees in the whole city, lining a street which I’ve loved since before I moved to Olympia, are all in serious trouble because of topping done in the 1950s.

And yes, then we (me, C, and two other attendees) went out with Micki to a site where we planted three flowering plums along Capitol Way south of the freeway, and yes, we worked in the rain.? I was exceptionally grateful for my lovely Outdoor Research hat.? I swear, I work harder in other people’s gardens than I do in my own.

The eventual goal of this is to get free trees from the city to plant along the street.? We already have a big tree in the front yard (oh, the crazy aspen!), but these would be more deliberately chosen for the particular location, and would probably allow us to remove the aspen, one of these days.? We could get them as soon as the end of next week, or we could decide and then plant next fall.

Now I’m all mellow and happy after the hard work, the learning experience, and a vigorous hot shower.? (All our mud-covered clothes are in the wash now.)? Of course, I’m also ravenous…and I think I have enough punches on my Taco del Mar punch card for a free burrito….

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