Thanks to some secret insider knowledge, Green Footprints headed to Nashville, Tennessee this past week to meet with Centennial High School’s AP environmental science classes. Nashville was a welcomed break from the terrible forest fires plaguing Asheville and western North Carolina; I’m still hacking, coughing and sneezing from the code-red air quality that’s been the norm for a few weeks now. The area is in the midst of a severe drought, and any small spark can ignite huge swaths of forest in much of the region. So for anyone over there, be careful! Fires are an important part of many ecosystems, but not man-made fires.
Of course, Turtle acted its classic self, refusing to start as I hopped in the driver’s seat for the last leg through Tennessee, engine turning over furiously to no avail. Fortunately, thanks to a can of quick-start, I was immediately able to isolate the issue to the fuel pressure. As I’ve already had intermittent issues with the fuel pump, I’ve been carrying a spare around for a few weeks, and was pretty darn glad for it right then. Forty-five minutes later I was back on the road, mentally going through the list of parts I’ve replaced in the last few months. Always be prepared!
With each of the four classes, I gave a short presentation about the project, and then we went outside to plant White Dogwood and Red Oak trees around the campus of the school. The students were great, keeping me on my toes with questions about how Green Footprints and the trees they were planting were actually helping to reduce their carbon footprint and help the environment. Sharon Strange, the teacher for the environmental classes, had everything perfectly organized beforehand, even providing all of the necessary shovels, soil, water and some decorative colored ties to identify the trees. Nashville was experiencing its own shortage in rainfall, and we combated the hard, dry, unyielding soil with our own potting soil, water and plenty of well-aimed and aggressive stomps on the shovel blades. After a few hours of hard work, Centennial High School was adorned with 50 new saplings, ready to bed down for the winter and unfurl for the first time next spring and begin taking up some of our carbon emissions!
For now, Turtle and I are headed west to Arkansas, with a rigorous schedule of running and planting to power through before heading north to meet up with Rob Greenfield and support the efforts against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, SD.
If you haven’t already, be sure to follow along with the journey on Instagram (@thetraveling.turtle), and be sure to donate! We’ve raised some money so far, but have a long way to go. Every $1 donated plants a tree! Please leave your comments below on the steps you are taking this week to make your lives a little more Green. If you need some inspiration, check out the links above on our website!