Blog written by AmeriCorps service member Tyrah Cobb-Davis, after conducting an interview with Marie.
Neighborhood Planting Captain Marie Anderson of the Maplecrest neighborhood of Donelson has a love for gardening and cooking, and loves the idea of an edible forest. Through Root Nashville, Marie is receiving several fruit-bearing trees which will complement the other fruit and nut trees and berries in her yard, she says. It was Marie’s strong connection to trees that inspired her to apply to become a planting captain with Root Nashville in the first place. Marie says that she feels very connected to trees — her favorite being any type of oak — because she has climbed them, sat under them, and has even drawn them. Once she heard about this opportunity through her homeowner’s association she knew she wanted to be involved.
Participating in this program allowed Marie to have a better understanding of her neighborhood and her local community. To spread the word about the opportunity for free trees, Marie knocked on doors and handed out flyers… and not just on a few streets but to every single home in the neighborhood. She described this as being a very simple and maybe even “old school” approach to community outreach, but she says that it was very successful. And we have to agree: Marie found homes for 99 trees to be planted in October 2020, and that’s in addition to the dozens she had previously “homed” through the donated Hale & Hines opportunity earlier this year. Marie says the boots-on-the-ground mentality gave her a deeper understanding of her area and her neighbors. As new people move into homes and make them their own, she was able to notice, in a new way, how their creativity shines through!
There are lots of different ways to be a Neighborhood Planting Captain, and you don’t necessarily have to be highly active on social media or online neighborhood groups. As Marie’s testimony shows, other approaches like canvassing can work just as well (if not better). Way to go, Marie, and thanks for all your tireless hard work to restore your neighborhood’s tree canopy!
Participants in the Neighborhood Planting Captain Program work with Root Nashville to greenify their neighborhood with free 1-inch caliper trees. The captain’s role is to recruit neighbors to participate, and to gather information about where trees will be planted. Want to become a Neighborhood Planting Captain yourself? Stay tuned for the next application, within this planting season of October 2020 through March 2021.