The Calumet Tree Conservation Corps is a specialized crew with The SCA that focuses on tree maintenance in the Northwest Indiana region. The crew leader Ryan and the assistance crew leader Abbie greeted me and invited me to tag along for their various tasks of caring for trees on a steamy Thursday morning in August. Although this day was hot and humid this crew plants trees even in the snow! They have a passion and knowledge for cultivating and caring for trees that is inspiring. Many crew members joined the crew through the upheaval of the last 2 years and are grateful to partner doing such important work in caring for public lands and parks. Outdoor spaces are more vital than ever!
They started the day filling the tank in the trailer they use for watering with a fire hydrant. Watering is a weekly task to help keep the trees they plant growing and healthy. They also trim and cut any die back from trees so the “suckers” or new shoots can grow up strong- the shared about this process that to me looked like cutting or killing the trees but as they worked they educated on the process of allowing the trees to thrive. They also mulch around trees and help to straighten any trees as they grow. The crew also facilitates volunteer days where community members can join and help plant trees and learn about conservation.
The crew leader Ryan was actually doing his undergrad in Fine Arts when a professor who knew about his love for trees recommended he applied for a grant and partnership with The SCA and now he has been leading this crew for 3 years. When he heard there was a crew dedicated to planting and cultivating trees, “I knew it was for me because I wanted to plant and care for trees.” He continues to lead, grow, and share his knowledge with the crew and community members. The Calumet Tree Conservation Corps continues their important work and dedication to the restoration and conservation of public lands and urban green spaces.
A visual storyteller that focuses on human emotion & connection. I help families, individuals, & couples to capture their beautiful messy story.
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