A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
This ancient Greek proverb is often used to point to selfless contributions made by the older generation. But it is also true in a literal sense. Our community benefits from the trees planted by previous generations and we must plant trees for future generations.
That hasn’t been happening in Wichita. Instead, the city has been removing several thousand more trees than it has planted every year for more than a decade. Private developers have removed thousands more.
To meet this challenge we created ICT Trees, Inc., a couple months ago. This new nonprofit sprang into action by sponsoring the first ever Urban TreeFest. Utilizing city-owned land along McLean Boulevard, we invited the public to celebrate Arbor Day with guided tree walks, tree-climbing demonstrations and a presentation on “How to Plant a Tree” while planting a tree—a swamp white oak tree donated by Hillside Nursery.
ICT Trees is a group of volunteers, headed by a board of directors, and led by me as president along with vice president Harold Schlectweg, secretary Mike McCorkle, and treasurer Russell Arben Fox. Our membership includes forty-plus volunteers dedicated to increasing attention to our city’s valuable trees.
ICT Trees’ mission is to maintain, expand and promote the city’s tree canopy.
Trees capture carbon from the air and release oxygen. They shade parks, sidewalks and yards, cooling and adding moisture to our summer outdoor environment. They help to mitigate heat islands, those treeless areas of paving and asphalt that absorb heat during the day then release it at night, keeping night-time temperatures hot and uncomfortable.
Our goal is to develop a strong nonprofit organization that will allow our city’s many tree lovers to have a voice both in promoting good policy and adequate resources for our urban tree canopy, as well as informing and educating about the many benefits provided by trees. We will also take action to plant new trees and expand the tree canopy in Wichita, even if we do not have the pleasure of sitting in their shade.
Elizabeth Bishop is president of ICT Trees, Inc.
To contact ICT Trees
ICT Trees, Inc.
PO Box 2504
Wichita, KS 67201
FB: ICT Trees, Inc