04/26/2012: "Pauli's Annual Arbor Day Tree Give-Away Continues Sat On Lopez, Orcas & San Juan"
(L to R: Pauli Gavora & Alex Gavora handing out trees; Back: Gordy Petersen with tree -2007 file photo)
By Jack Cory
It is 16 years and 24,000 trees later, and Pauli Gavora’s project to celebrate Arbor Day in San Juan County will continue to carry on the tradition.
A new group has been formed in her memory to continue her vision of giving away trees on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Island
When Pauli away in January [obituary -Ed] of this year she was president of the San Juan Island American Legion Women’s’ Auxiliary, and one of the topics on her mind a few days before she lost her battle with cancer was the subject of Arbor Day; and the need to thank Orcas residents John & Wanda Evans for providing all those trees over the years that would then be given out each year by the volunteers Pauli had recruited to help her.
Pauli knew she would no longer be with her band of merry volunteers for future Arbor Days, and she did not know if her program would continue once she was gone. But the Women’s Auxiliary stepped forward to take over the responsibility of organizing the annual event, as a way to honor their past president and her good work, by continuing what has become a county tradition.
So stop by the following places and pick-up a free tree between 12:00 to 5:00 pm on Saturday, April 28th, 2012; and thank all the many volunteers who work to continue this wonderful event.
�-� FRIDAY HARBOR...Market Place Parking Lot
�-� ORCAS ISLAND.....Island Market Parking Lot
�-� LOPEZ ISLAND .....Lopez Village Market Parking Lot
( About the photo: Pauli planting a tree years ago when she started SJC Arbor Day; the smaller photo at right bottom shows Pauli & John Evans a few years ago with the same tree)
On April of 2005 Pauli wrote the following as a news release, we thought our readers would enjoy it and be inspired by it:
By Pauli Gavora
Once again, last Friday of April: National Arbor Day. April 29 this time. It always seems to sneak up.
The initial relief of springtime -more daylight, more warmth, blooming jonquils. It suddenly gives way to; spading the garden, spraying the orchard trees, killing the weeds?! Planting the bare-root seedling of Arbor Day, is just another one of the "chores" of this time of year.
A pleasant chore, but a responsibility none the less. And I have been wondering recently -why trees?
I know the story about Nebraska, and the tree planting by J. Sterling Morton a hundred and thirty some years ago. I also know that we have today more forested acreage in this country -net, than there was back then. And that the status of the tree canopy varies -that you have to pick your epoch to gauge against.
This years Arbor Day tree is the noble Fir. The species used for Christmas trees. It is a beautiful, majestic plant. And the thousand seedlings to be given away will be a lovely addition to the local flora. But I am thinking, perhaps next year there should be an Arbor Shrub or Arbor Bush Day.
Like everyone else I see the log trucks parked waiting to line up for the ferry. So I am cognizant of the logging going on. But much less obvious I think is the clearing that we do not notice unless it occurs along a County road.
There is more clearing and "parking out" than we realize. There are less places for the small animals and birds to find refuge. Less places for deer to feel comfortable and safe enough to lie down. A forest of large trees with it's concomitant lack of understory, might be beautiful to look at, but it is a relative "habitat' wasteland. Perhaps it would be best if we expand our concept of "tree". Bring back, assist, or allow to happen, some of the natural, evolving chaos of the forest. Maybe next year we can plant a shrub.