30,000 trees

Lorax that.

Lorax that.

(Come friend Aunt Ruthie on Facebook and let’s hang out.)

OK, out there: listen up.

Up and off of your butts now.

Why, you ask? You would question your Auntie Ruth? She of the vast journalistic yeehaw? Of all things eco-right and relevant? Well, yeah. Ruthie’s readers are likely blue state, green flag-waving members of the choir, born of a long progressive tradition of American politics: We don’t do anything without contentious finger waggin’ and that’s-not-good-enough-for-me-ya-friggin’-moderate machinations.

And don’t you forget it.

That said, up and off your butt now: We have to plant 30,000 trees here and around Sacramento by April 8.

Why? Because the Sacramento Tree Foundation says so, that’s why. It’s their 30th anniversary and, with a little ambitious symbolism tucked under their arm, off they go a’planting. What’s on your to-do list this week that’s as fine a thing as planting a tree?

Auntie Ruth was a spoiled kid. Spoiled by trees; backing onto her house were acres and acres of them (she remembers most fondly the bay trees). If she could keep her hands out of the poison oak (leaves are three, let them be), she could spend hours and hours therein, with friends and alone, climbing them, wandering among them. Daydreaming to the sound of the wind pushing them around: It’s a sighing sound, sometimes lonely, sometimes angry.

Ruthie was a spoiled kid.

If she were still a tyke, Ruthie would be inside, online, up to her elbows in Facebook and what not. To that end, STF has a spiffy website set up to organize the planting of 30,000 trees in a little over a month (the effort began March 7), www.30ktrees.com. There, you’ll find why planting trees is good for you, essential to cleaner air and reducing carbon dioxide, plus a listing the leading tree planters to date (as of this writing, Kerry Wicker has planted seven—you go) and leading tree pledgers (the city of Sacramento will plant 1,000, Putah Creek Council has pledged 750).

But really, we need more trees because we need more children in them—climbing them, playing in them, exercising in them, daydreaming in them, almost falling out of them. (There was that day Auntie Ruth should have broken at least an arm and maybe a neck except for a lucky grab of the branch. Trees are real life.)

Anyway, 30,000 trees by April 7. Lorax that. Ruthie is, so there.