Thursday, August 4, 2016

Spring Outreach - Love Our Trees Tour and Embassy Open Houses

Love Our Trees Valentine (Dreamstime)
Love Our Trees Tour
We held our first tree tour - a new way to teach Mass Ave neighbors about the trees and landscape features we have organized over 9 years and to thank our partners there who care for them so well.

Some of the neighbors taking the tour had never met! Yet they shared their curiousity and LOVE for trees, while strolling on sidewalks they pass daily. It was a beautiful day .

This tour featured the 2400 block of Mass Ave and also Emmet Park, the triangle park on Mass Ave between 24 and S Streets, recently re-landscaped by the National Park Service.

Mass Ave resident Debbie Rider arranged the tour. RMA President Deborah Shapley served as guide. 
Saumya Mitra and Debbie Rider at the May 24 Love Our Trees Tour.
Our Take A Tour page slideshow will help you count the ways to love trees on this part of Embassy Row/Mass Ave. What are those huge trees with year-round glossy leaves by the Chad Embassy (2401 Mass)? What are the curbside row and "second row" of trees whose branches close over the sidewalk by the embassies of Zambia (2419 Mass), Korea (2450 Mass),  Côte d'Ivoire (2424 Mass) and the Venezuela Residence (2443 Mass).   How to ID a sick tree? Check out our slideshow - and come to our next Love our Trees Tour!

Taryn Farber of the DC Urban Forestry Administration helped identify the city trees on the tour; RMA arranges care for these trees.  (Thank you, Taryn, for trimming some too-low branches over the sidewalk.) Board members Holly Sukenik and Rob Nevitt assisted. Treekeeper John Umberger took photos.

Info tables at Embassy Open Houses
RMA made our program known to thousands of people who crowded the sidewalks of our part of Embassy Row, to be admitted to free Embassy Open Houses.  Passport DC holds these wildly successful come-one-and-all events on two Saturdays in May with Cultural Tourism DC.

On May 14 volunteers Melissa Kaminski and Sally Wiebe and Board member Holly Sukenik staffed our info table, at the park by the Estonia Embassy (2201 Mass). RMA got the city to create this space and plant a major tree. Anne Black was a special addition to our table crew;  she and husband Steve Black maintain the park plantings.

For the May 7 open house, RMA's table was by the Embassy of Indonesia (2020 Mass). The crowds were so dense that Treekeeper Lindsey Larson and Board member Claire Wagner moved our poster next to the street to take this picture. The Indonesia Embassy staff were welcoming as always.

Below are recent photos of two American elms we planted at the Embassy. We planted these trees and others there in March 2011. Ambassador Dino Patti Djalal hosted our planting and Casey Trees donated the trees.                     - by Deborah Shapley

Top:  RMA's Deborah Shapley, Lindsey Larson and Claire Wagner on May 7.  Left: American elm we planted with Embassy of Indonesia is scaled to the statue of the Hindu goddess Dewi Saraswati.  Right: Another elm we planted with the Embassy at the corner of Mass Ave and 21 Street. (RMA)

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