Broadlands Becomes the Virginia’s Plant a Wish Site

Broadlands becomes the home of Historic "Plant a Wish" tree for inclusion in nationwide tree planting documentary film project "Plant a Wish" tour plants it's Virginia Tree in Broadlands on Sun. June 13, 2010 The Broadlands Certified Community Wildlife Habitats Committee hosted the "Plant a Wish" project, a nationwide tree planting and public awareness project that is being filmed for a feature documentary. Community members joined Plant a Wish project founders Joseph Imhoff and Sara Tekula in the planting of a native Serviceberry tree. The tree planting/movie-making team from Hawaii was in town as part of their mission to plant native trees in all 50 states and make a documentary film about it. This tree will be the historic tree that they are planting for the state of Virginia. The Serviceberry Tree (Amalanchier canadense) was donated by GreenWorks Landscaping and hand-picked by Landscape Designer John Magee for the integral part the tree has played in the history of the US and the indigenous people who occupied these lands before us. To the Native Americans, this plant signaled when the best time for a successful fishing harvest would be. As the tree blooms in early spring, it signaled the time of year the Shad (a small native fish) would run up the rivers to spawn, hence their name for it "Shadblow". As early European settlers crossed the Appalachian Mountains in search of new homes, they would lose some of their family members or friends to the cold, harsh winters. With the ground frozen, they could not bury the dead until springtime, when the Serviceberry would be blooming. The flowers of the tree were used in their memorial services, hence the name 'Serviceberry'. Yes, the tree does produce a wonderful, edible fruit in June, giving the tree one more common name- Juneberry. During the planting, wishes were written down on pieces of scrap paper and planted under the tree. This part was especially fun for the children. This event will also be featured in an article on the Plant a Wish blog, at www.plantawish.org. Plant a Wish was launched on Earth Day 2010 with national recognition, and the team has been planting trees and filming segments on their home island of Maui, Hawaii. The plan is to visit about 22 states in the month of June, all located in the upper Midwest and Northeast. Then, the duo will return in subsequent trips in Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 until they have planted trees in all 50 states of the U.S. "I felt like the project needed a specific mission, some goal that we as filmmakers must attain to make this historic, so I suggested we do all of the U.S. States, along with Washington, D.C.", says Imhoff. "I believe we'll be the first people in history to have accomplished this when we're finished. As you might imagine, this is a challenging adventure that we're on. We're excited to work with the Certified Community Wildlife Habitat Committee, because we believe that humans have the power and the responsibility to preserve native wildlife in their neighborhoods." “It’s been our goal to find ways to restore the natural habitats in our community. This can be as simple and practical as planting native trees and (perennials) plants. We are really excited about being part of the Plant a Wish project and represent Virginia. It fits perfectly with our goals as a committee in Broadlands” said Oya Simpson, Co-Chair of the Broadlands Wildlife Habitats Committee. This tree planting event in Broadlands is offered to the community as an opportunity to learn more about the important role native trees and plants play in our daily lives, to enjoy speakers from the community, and to lend their support to partnering organizations. The idea is that the Plant a Wish trees becomes important ones in the community, and grow to improve the health of the surrounding environment for generations to come. Plant a Wish is a public awareness campaign and documentary film project aiming to restore native habitats around America while engaging communities and inspiring individuals to take an active role in the health of their environment. Starting on Earth Day 2010, the two Maui filmmakers (and project founders) launched a nationwide tour of America's forests, meeting incredible caretakers along the way, becoming the first to plant native trees in each of the 50 states, learning the stories behind the trees, blogging about their daily experiences, and collecting footage for a feature-length documentary film. They do all of this to fulfill their biggest wish: for future generations to enjoy healthy communities with an abundance of biodiversity, native plants and trees, fresh air, and clean water. Check out http://www.plantawish.org to learn more, to contribute or get involved.

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