The Archangel Moving the Giants project, made a significant step forward with a celebratory planting in Seattle on December 10, 2016. The first Archangel Champion trees that will surround Puget Sound were planted by kids from Plant for the Planet, a worldwide kid-run organization of 8 to 14 year-olds interested in tree planting, keeping fossil fuels in the ground and fighting poverty for climate justice.

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Moving the Giants mapAndy Sheffer, Seattle Parks Director of Facilities, talked about his avid support of increasing the tree canopy in Seattle and expressed his enthusiasm to be able to start the “Moving the Giants” project at Jefferson Park. Three hundred trees, clones of some of the largest and oldest Coast Redwoods are to be planted in various communities surrounding Puget Sound.

The native habitat for Coast Redwoods is becoming warmer and dryer due to our warming climate. The Moving the Giants project aims to give Coast Redwoods a better chance of survival by extending their range. Twenty-six communities will receive clones of old-growth redwoods, which have been collected and propagated by Archangel Ancient Tree Archive.

A fundraiser is ongoing to offset the expense of collecting, propagating, and planting these trees, and everyone is welcomed to contribute tot this project.

The organization of this event has been a labor of love by Seattle resident Philip Stilstra. “I saw the need to assist Archangel to get these valuable trees into the ground, so I worked with Seattle Parks and the various municipalities around Puget Sound to ensure the survival of the young saplings until maturity,” said Stielstra. “I know lots of effort and expense went into collecting and propagating the trees, so once they’re planted, we need to give them the best chance for survival by keeping them properly watered and monitored,” he continued.

The “mother trees” are the best of the best Coast Redwoods: the oldest, largest trees of their species. Some of the trees were propagated from stumps, cut down long ago. Saplings propagated from the Fieldbrook Stump, the largest Coast Redwood on the record before it was cut down at the turn of the century, are included in the group of trees to be planted.  Once mature, local populations of trees will cross-pollinate with the Champion tree clones to strengthen the existing forest.

Plantings will continue in various communities through early 2017.

Athena Fain, 2017 President of the Seattle Chapter of Plant for the Planet was the Emcee for the Planting Ceremony

Andy Sheffer, Seattle Parks Director of Facilities, talked about his avid support of increasing the tree canopy in Seattle and expressed his enthusiasm to be able to start the “Moving the Giants” project at Jefferson Park.

Philip Stielstra, initiator of the “Moving the Giants to Puget Sound” project, described how important it was to be capturing the genetics of old growth redwood forests to reforest Puget Sound. He thanked the Climate Justice Ambassadors, Deb Brown, Andy Sheffer and Johan Scherer of Seattle Parks and David, Kerry, Jared and Jake Milarch of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive for making this all possible.

One last group photo to mark the end of a successful Planting Ceremony in Jefferson Park on Dec 10, 2016.

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