tree planting

A Gift That Keeps On Giving

By Lina Younes

I’ve always been fascinated with the change of seasons. I marvel at how the bare branches of seemingly lifeless trees and bushes come to life overnight. It’s part of the beauty of nature that never ceases to amaze me.


Just recently I was looking at my garden’s revival. While the garden itself will definitely need some attention in the coming weeks, there is still a natural beauty even in its current status. That’s how I focused on the tree that my father, youngest daughter and I planted on Earth Day six years ago. The ornamental pear tree that was barely four feet high has grown to more than fifteen feet tall. It stands tall, healthy, and proud in my garden.

I believe that tree-planting is a great way to instill in children the value of protecting our environment. The process of selecting the tree, preparing the soil, planting the tree, watering it regularly and watching it grow and thrive is a unique experience that benefits all involved. Furthermore, as the tree begins to grow, it also provides shade and improves air quality. Basically, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Even today, as I look at my tree I relive those memories. I still have the vivid images in my mind of the intergenerational experience of seeing my father, my youngest daughter and I working in the garden. I look at my garden and see many of the flowering plants that he helped me plant. He has always loved gardening. Even as he no longer has the agility to do some gardening in the same manner he did many years ago, he still enjoys it. Together, we still can share the experience.

Are you planning to do some gardening around your home this weekend? I’m including some tips that may help you keep your garden waste-free.  Do you have any tips you would like to share with us? We always like to hear from you.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA. She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Girls Scouts Strike Again

Girl Scouts

The Girl Scout Cadette Troop# 10717 from Florida is at it again.  They are not only talking the green talk, but walking the green walk.

After educating themselves on the possibilities of energy from waste during their ‘Breathe Journey’ stage–a step that they took to connect and take action to earn three leadership awards and to engage in improving the world’s air quality, they are connecting to the outdoors through tree planting.

Recently, the troop organized a planting event to give back to their community in Coral Springs.  Girl Scouts of all ages participated in activities to become Junior Forest Rangers and to earn their legacy naturalist badges.  Over 130 participants took part in a tour of the Coral Springs Community Garden, learned to identify at least 5 different types of trees, and planted a tree –which will be tended to by the girl that planted it for a month.

Why tree planting?

The troop recently uncovered that most kids these days spend close to 7 hours a day connected to electronics and are no longer in tune with nature.  They are wired and tuned into portable electronic devices instead of nature and the environment around them.  The Girl Scouts don’t want to forget everything nature has to offer, and so with a little sweat, planted over 130 trees!

Great job for the next generation of young environmental stewards!

What about you?  Have you unplugged from the electronic highway lately and taken part in some kind of act of environmental stewardship?  Tell us about it!

Yvonne Gonzalez is a SCEP intern with the Air and Radiation Division in Region 5. She is currently pursuing a dual graduate degree at DePaul University.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.