Blog written by AmeriCorps service member Tyrah Cobb-Davis, after conducting an interview with Will.
Will Marth is deeply connected to trees and the environment, describing himself as a nature lover, tree lover, and steward of the environment — which of course makes sense, since Will is a career landscape architect with Hawkins Partners, Inc. Will says that even outside of work, he is constantly thinking about how to add more trees and make areas more green as he walks and drives around Nashville. With trees always on the mind, it was a natural fit for Will to become a Neighborhood Planting Captain. (He became an especially knowledgeable captain, as Will also serves on Root Nashville’s Advisory Board!)
Will lives in East Nashville, a part of the city that was in the direct line of the March 3 tornado. The damage brought to the area was so extensive that the community is definitely still recovering even months later, he says. But by spreading the word in the neighborhood, both through neighborhood associations and online groups as well as sharing physical flyers, Will did his part to help restore tree canopy simply by recruiting neighbors, one tree at a time.
Like many other participating planting captains, Will shared that this opportunity was a unique way to connect with others in his immediate community. Although a lot of the interactions were by phone or email, he still feels as though he was able to build relationships with people in his neighborhood that he may not have otherwise had the chance to connect with. In one particular success story, a neighbor near Will has been living in his home for almost 40 years without a single tree or shrub in sight. Thanks to Will spreading the word, and the opportunity for free trees through Root Nashville, now this neighbor will be receiving trees and is helping restore East Nashville.
Thanks to Will’s outreach, and also with a partnership with UPS, Root Nashville is delivering and planting 104 trees in the Lockeland Springs neighborhood and surrounding area on Friday, November 20.
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.