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An interactive ‘storymap’ of trees in South King County

Published on July 6, 2018

Forest Image Credit: Pixabay: Antranias : CC 0 Creative Commons

If a tree falls in the course of urban development and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? A new art project based in South King County aims to ensure the answer is yes — and the sound is a cacophony of arboreal anecdotes.

“My goal is to create a forest of stories,” says Katherine Wimble, the Seattle artist behind “Forest for the Trees.” The crowd-sourced project invites the public to contribute to an online “storymap” by pinpointing the location of a specific tree, dropping in a photo and adding an observation, memory, poem or story. (While the effort is based in King County, pins can be placed anywhere on the global map.) The tree might be historic, or one seen every day while stuck in traffic. It might have been planted in a backyard by a beloved grandparent, or maybe it simply provides shade at a bus stop. A tree’s “significance” is up to user interpretation.

As described by forester Peter Wohlleben in his bestselling nature book, The Hidden Life of Trees, trees signal each other when danger is present, provide nutrients to ailing trees nearby, leave room for their neighbors’ branches and alter the scents they emit when humans are around. In other words, trees are the original social network. So it seems appropriate that a modern-day social network could get people to notice and appreciate trees — before they’re gone.

Continue reading at Crosscut

Originally posted on Crosscut by Brangien Davis
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