Climate Activists group plants trees at Veterans' Home

BENNINGTON — Climate Advocates of Bennington 350VT has planted five tulip magnolia trees at the Memorial on the grounds of the Vermont Veterans’ Home. This planting is part of the group’s reforestation project, and also to signal its respect for the veterans who live in the home.

CAB began planning for a reforestation project in early 2020 but put the plans on hold because of the COVID pandemic. The plan was restarted this spring with the Bennington County Conservation District planting approximately 500 trees. More will be planted in the fall.

CAB began the project as a method to address the climate crisis. As the atmospheric carbon continued to rise, Climate Advocates looked for ways to respond to the crisis. Research done by ETH Zurich found that planting trees is the best way to tackle climate change. Trees efficiently pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it essentially forever. Since forests have been eroded over the last century, replanting trees is essential.

Forests have been destroyed all over the world through clear cutting to produce paper products and for raising cattle. Forests have also been decimated by fires both planned and unplanned and through pest infestations supported by a warming climate.

CAB also depended on the work of Paul Hawkins and his team of researchers who published the book “Drawdown.” They listed 80 methods of drawing carbon from the atmosphere and reforestation was one of the top methods.

This effort to plant trees is also a part of the “Rewilding” project of 350Vermont. Their goal is to plant 10,000 trees state wide. There have been thousands of trees planted in Vermont this spring. In addition to the trees at the Veterans home the BCCD has planted about 400 trees for the CAB initiative.

Climate Advocates of Bennington is the only group in southern Bennington County that is focused on the growing climate emergency. They have been instrumental in moving Bennington County toward a more climate conscience stance.

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Bennington Banner July 9, 2021