More About Trees: Legacies

NOTE; A donation made by an anonymous donor means that all donations received between today and December 30th will be matched up to a total of $10,000. So please donate now for your donation to be matched!

It’s been wonderful to see the response to my Tree Time blog. Many people donated and wrote positively about the urgent need to be supporting the environment — and celebrating Christmas in new ways and with different kinds of gifts.

That’s made me think about what we give and about what a legacy means. Some people worry about donating money that would otherwise be set aside for their children’s inheritance, and that’s understandable. We all want to leave something for our children and grandchildren. However, my wise older brother told me about a statement made years ago by Joseph Salk: Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.

I think indigenous people have always known this. Maybe it’s time for us to learn to become elders who will make good ancestors.

Salk’s words resonate with me. And, as my brother pointed out, the legacy we want to leave for our children and grandchildren may not be bank accounts or paper investments but trees in a healthy watershed. We can think about capital not as financial but as ecological. Natural capital. We can think of it as re-investing in our relationship with nature.

That makes me feel better about transferring over to Wildwood’s Save the Six campaign some of what I’d otherwise leave as an inheritance:

I believe this will serve as a valuable legacy for my family. I don’t know what will happen to the economy or the stock market over the next while. It’s hard to know what the future will hold. But if we can save these six acres, with their 35 mother trees that are over 250-year-old, and the many other trees that are close to a century old, that’s a legacy that will last.

It matters.

Please donate to this campaign — and have your donation doubled.

It’s one way of becoming a good ancestor.

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