In Our Backyards

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We only made it to one panel discussion at the Good Food Conference this year and it was Climate Change in Your Backyard. Not as energetic as some of the workshops in the hallway of the UIC Forum, but my ears perked up when one of the speakers brought up something we’ve covered on the CG Project last year. Anni Holm and Tony Abasolo shared a CSA with us so we took regular trips to West Chicago and one of them was the day after a storm that snapped some trees and uprooted others. Our Photo of the Week was of a piece artwork made of the remains of a fallen West Chicago tree.

Mario shoots Wind Spirits Wind Spirit West Chicago

That storm was an example of the shift we’re experiencing. Older trees are coming down because the environment isn’t friendly to them anymore. One suggestion of the panelist at Climate Change in Your Backyard is that you shouldn’t replace a fallen tree with one of the same kind because there’s a reason that tree came down. If it’s a case of parasites, like the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle, you’re just refilling the buffet. After revisiting the sculpture park in West Chicago I witnessed some more evidence of climate change on my commute from the west side of Chicago.

Snapped Downed TreeOuch This tree fell while I was working just a few blocks away on a day that wasn’t particularly windy. It was overcast but not storming. This could easily have been one of the trees I park under while I’m working. As it was, at least 3 people had their week ruined and a whole bunch more of us will think twice before taking the shady spot this Summer.

The last photo I’ll a share on the subject comes from an old friend, Alvin Matsui. He works as a tree cutter in the west suburbs and had to direct traffic when the area flooded earlier this month. He took this with his phone after a driver decided the detour wasn’t for him. Remember, be careful and responsible out there. Drive safe and mind Mother Nature.

Photo by Alvin Matsui
Photo by Alvin Matsui

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