By Lorene Liddle, Becketwood Member
Recently, while attending a performance at the Guthrie Theater, I noticed the following statement in the program notes:
We want to acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the Dakota People and honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations, including the Ojibwe and other Indigenous nations.
Immediately I realized how this acknowledgement applies to us at Becketwood. In recent years I have learned some of the history of this lovely 12-acre parcel of land. Our location along the beautiful Mississippi River and the abundance of mature trees on the property were among the things that attracted me to this special place. Whenever I walk on our lovely grounds, look up at the trees or tend my little garden patch, I realize how privileged I am to live here.
We know of the numerous threats to this urban forest in which we live: disease, pests, aging, storms and climate change. We are losing many of our trees to these hazards already and will lose even more in coming years. We have replaced some trees, but we are losing trees faster than the current rate of replacement. I believe we must be proactive in caring for the trees we have and replacing those we lose.
I occupy only a brief moment in the long arc of history. But, while I am here, I can make a difference by honoring and stewarding this land I now inhabit, just as the Dakota, Ojibwe and other Indigenous people did before me. For this reason, and because of my love of trees, David and I are making a sizeable donation to our tree fund for the specific purpose of tree replacement. We do so to demonstrate good stewardship in gratitude to our native predecessors and to pay it forward for the benefit of succeeding generations. I invite you to join us in this effort, for together I believe we can do it.