Saturday, February 2, 2013

365 Inspirations—33: One Family and the Love of a Maple Tree (Greenlake, Seattle)

“For me, it’s more than just saving a tree. It’s inspirational that a little boy saw  something that he didn’t like in the world and stood up for it. And it actually worked.”—Kim Butler

Seattle people LOVE trees! We are the Evergreen State and we are very proud of our towering trees. People fight to have trees remain in place and would rather have the trees over anything else. For months now, I've been walking around Greenlake Park in Seattle and have spotted a huge Maple tree trunk elaborately decorated with fresh flowers daily! Someone obviously loved this tree and was saddened by its loss from the park. I have wondered for months now who has been doing this.

For a few weeks now, there have only been the remains of dead flowers on the tree trunk. I felt saddened to see this and thought the person decorating the tree trunk must have given up.

However, today, while I walked around Greenlake with my husband, I was thrilled to see that the trunk was decorated once again with an array of bright flowers! It made me smile. Several people stopped to view the flowers and I also noticed happiness on their faces.

So I decided to Google "decorated tree trunk at Greenlake" and of course I found the news story from the Greenlake Komo News website and most of this information here is from that story.

It all started with one family, the Butlers, in 2002. Taylor, the boy, was only 5 when he spotted a sign that mentioned the tree would be cut down. The young boy was so sad that this tree would be removed that he posted signs on the tree urging people to save it. He left blank pieces of paper in order to gather signatures and support for the tree.

The family's passion for the tree extended the tree's life by 10 years, but eventually it was cut down because it had split and was a threat to the community.

To honor the tree, the Butlers have been placing fresh flowers on the trunk for many months, but they decided that they'd like a more permanent way to memorialize the tree.

The kids, Emma and Taylor, along with their mother, created a fundraiser to raise money for a park bench that will be placed near the tree trunk. Many people have supported this fundraiser and they have raised over $1,200 for the bench.

I never expected that a little boy and a love for a tree could spark such a crusade to save it. It just goes to show that it doesn't matter how young or old you are, we can all make a difference.

Here's their Facebook page for their Maple Tree Bench Project

Have you ever stood up for a cause you believe in? Are you also a lover of trees?


  1. I absolutely have stood up for a cause that I believe in. I am very passionate about protecting endangered species and I love getting involved in organizations/charities that promote awareness. Also, trees are among the most beautiful things on earth - I love spending time in a forest with the birds singing all around me :)

    1. Hi Keith, What a wonderful cause—endangered species! Recently the wolverine, which was thought to be almost extinct in theses parts has started to repopulate! I was happy to hear that! Nice to see you here!

  2. I believe is people listening to each other, so I became a mediator. I do it as a volunteer.

    1. This is so important! I'm very interested in this Linda. We need more "listeners" in the world and I'm glad you are a moderator of this!

  3. I'm an advocate for animal rights and have found ways to make my voice heard, though there's so much more that I could/should do!

    I love trees. It breaks my heart to see land "cleared" for putting in more houses or businesses. Doing so much of that really affects the habitats of the animals. And a lot of the hardwood trees--we won't see as many of them.

    1. If people don't stand up for animals, then who will! So glad you are doing this Tina! It also breaks my heart to see trees bulldozed down to make room for more we really need more buildings? I agree, many trees are natural habitats for all kinds of creatures!