The Mythical Forest

Myths and legends can influence the way we recall and enjoy our environment. In the same manner ox- bow lakes elicit thoughts of Paul Bunion's giant blue ox pulling the rivers straight while leaving her big hoof prints behind, myths and stories of trees can help us remember and even enjoy our streetscapes and gardens more. I have chosen to use some existing tales such as The Flame Tree as a base for my urban forestation and education proposal for Mill Creek.

The enclosed stories (see preceding tales link) speak of four separate trees. In reverence to these stories, this proposal suggests that the Sulzburger middle school plant native Mountain Laurel, and Sycamore as well as the Common Persimmon and 'Autumn Flame' Red Maple. The students can learn these stories and after, discover the trees mentioned therein. This will allow a correlation between class room literary studies and the urban forest project. The students can also invent their own myths for the nursery trees or alternatively, they can create stories describing the genesis of features in or histories of other common Mill Creek street trees such as these:

The Chinese Scholar Tree--Why does it wear strings of jade pearls in autumn?
The Basswood--How did it come to have leaves shaped like hearts?
The Ginkgo--Where did it get it's funny name?
Other area trees ideal for fable writing include the Red Oak, Sweet Gum and Norway Maple. Creative writing contests can be had each year with the winning stories accompanying the traditional tales in a revolving display on the nursery fence (changed bi-annually). Tree tales can also be made into school plays.

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Enclosing Space
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Writing on the Fence

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Nursery Plan
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