We’re taking a little departure from gardening today. I hope you’ll forgive me. In fact, I hope you’ll do more than forgive me. I hope you’ll join me.
Here’s the deal.
There’s this forest. It’s filled with oaks. Really old oaks. And, this forest — Stadium Woods — sits smack in the middle of Virginia Tech. It’s been there forever. Or, well, close enough. At least one tree dates back approximately 350 years. That’s older than the United States of America. About 100 years older, to be exact. And, yes, it’s also older than Virginia Tech, which was founded in 1872. This tree was already about 200 years old when the first students graduated from VT.
And, here’s the thing: Scientists at Virginia Tech are fairly certain that this 350-year-old tree isn’t even the oldest in Stadium Woods.
This is an old growth forest. And, some people at Virginia Tech want to cut it down so they can build a practice facility for the football team. Really. Check out this video: Save Stadium Woods at Virginia Tech.
Now, I know some Hokies. My brother and sister-in-law both graduated from VT, and I have family that works there now. So, I know how you folks are about your football team. Trust me, I’m not suggesting we disrespect the Hokies or handicap the team. But, really, should we be destroying 350-year-old trees for a practice arena? Really? Especially when there’s an easy and logical solution only a one-minute walk away?
Stadium Woods isn’t just a tree or two. This is an 11-acre forest in the middle of the Virginia Tech campus. Some scientists believe it is the largest stand of old growth white oak trees in the entire eastern half of the United States. The forest supports migratory birds and provides a living laboratory for college students and professors. And, let’s not even get into the irony of a land-grant university that wants to destroy its own land.
So, getting back to “joining me…” I hope you’ll join me — and more than 8,400 others — by signing a petition to save Stadium Woods. Then, if you still want to help, you can send an email to the administration at Virginia Tech. The Save Stadium Woods crew has even collected phone numbers of elected officials on their How You Can Help page.
Finally, can I ask one more thing? Would you share this with your friends? Send them here, or send them directly to the Save Stadium Woods website. Ask them to sign the petition, and then pass it along to their friends. And, so on and so on…
Tomorrow, we’ll return to the garden. I’ll be answering your questions about sweet potatoes. (It’s not too late to ask a question, just click here and post your question in the comments section).