Hundreds of spectators of the festivities surrounding the World Track & Field Championship in 2021 made an early arrival Friday, and they will be staying for a long, long time.
Eugene city workers and volunteers welcomed 2,000 giant sequoia seedlings to the nursery at Alton Baker Park as part of the “2,021 for 2021” initiative.
Volunteers at the Alton Baker Native Plant Nursery will care for them for a year before city workers plant them around the city. Residents can now make a request for a tree planted on their property, but they have to meet certain criteria, including — obviously — having plenty of space.
The seedlings were a donation from the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, an organization that aims to preserve and propagate old-growth trees. Each tree was cultivated from seeds taken from ancient trees in the High Sierras, many of which are thousands of years old.
An Archangel board member, Don Smith, drove four days from Michigan, the organization’s headquarters, to deliver the seedlings that were placed in boxes and stored in a U-Haul trailer.
Smith said the aim is to move north the future generations of the giant trees so they have a better chance of surviving the effects of climate change. The trees also will help capture the carbon dioxide that is driving the gradual warming of the planet.
“It’s a rescue mission for the trees and for us,” he said.
Photo by Andy Nelson – The Register-Guard