Original Newsletter Post – 6/10/19

Have you seen this?

I came across it a couple of weeks ago and was fascinated. An Italian architect, Stefano Boeri, started his project of creating Vertical Forest in 2009 in Milan with two buildings to “reforest” the city and bring “biodiversity without the implication of expanding the city”, as his website says (www.stefanoboeriarchitetti.net). He has plans to continue this successful work in the Netherlands, France, China and Manhattan.

The New York Times covered this in an article from December 13, 2018 which said, “If fifteen of 1,000 foot Vertical Forest buildings were constructed in New York city, together they would have the same number of trees that are found within the 8,400 acres of Central Park”.

I am so in love with this idea. I have always loved trees, not just for their beauty. They are healing energies with a complex communication system within species. Have you ever hugged a tree or leaned your back against one when in emotional distress? Or even just walked in a forest? It’s like energetic therapy without a word exchanged. There’s a growing movement called “Forest Bathing” where a guide takes you on a meditative and restorative journey through a forest to take advantage of its healing energy.

Trees, like animals, ground our energy for us, again healing us. The ancient Celts based their entire system of connection with Creator on the holy trees around them. Their main divination system, Ogham (pronounced “OW-em”) is made of sticks, one from each of the holy trees, that are thrown and then read like the modern throwing of Tarot cards in a spread (where do you think toy-makers got the idea for the old game of Pick Up Sticks?)

There are several books on the market about the healing energy of trees (THE HEALING ENERGY OF TREES by Patrick Bouchardon, HEALING WITH TREES: FINDING A PATH TO WHOLENESS by Margaret Cheasebro, THE HEALING POWER OF TREES: SPIRITUAL JOURNEYS THROUGH THE CELTIC TREE CALENDAR by Sharlyn Hidalgo – not to mention the original Nature-connection work done at Findhorn covered in THE FINDHORN GARDEN by The Findorn Community and BEHAVING AS IF THE GOD IN ALL LIFE MATTERED by Machaella Small Wright).

Trees give us oxygen, shade, companionship and, yes, beauty, and are the cornerstone for an environment we have lost touch with by living in cement and steel cities. City existence, while good for productivity and creativity because of the mass of people gathered together, is also harmful to our health and mental well-being. Even if we’ve never lived near a wood or within a forest and prefer the pseudo-antiseptic, central air and heat of city life, human beings need contact with Nature to be complete and healthy. Think of how healing and grounding living in one of these buildings would be.

Trees aren’t the only greenery involved in Vertical Forest. Shrubs, bushes, flowers and edible gardens were specifically chosen and grown for this project so they wouldn’t be in shock taken from their natural environment and placed into this vertical, contained one. Botanists took two years to develop the right greenery for the right location in the building,

From Stefano Boeri’s website: “Vertical Forest increases biodiversity. It helps to set up an urban ecosystem where a different kind of vegetation creates a vertical environment which can also be colonized by birds and insects, and therefore becomes both a magnet for and a symbol of the spontaneous recolonization of the city by vegetation and by animal life. The creation of a number of Vertical Forests in the city can set up a network of environmental corridors which will give life to the main parks in the city, bringing together the green space of avenues and gardens and interweaving various spaces of spontaneous vegetation growth.

“Vertical Forest helps to build a micro-climate and to filter dust particles which are present in the urban environment. The diversity of the plants helps to create humidity and absorbs CO2 and dust, produces oxygen, protects people and houses from harmful sun rays and from acoustic pollution.”

Before Vertical Forest finds a place near us, at least we can hug a tree or Forest Bathe or just spend time among the trees.

I offer this with love and gratitude…

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