On Trees and Other Miracles: a Green Road update

By Fred Foote, Institute Scholar and project administrator

Our Green Road Saturdays—our work days on the site—started last week. Right now, it’s mostly me and a few others from our Dream Team… the Institute for Integrative Health, CDMSmith, and the core group.

First on our list of tasks, obviously, is site clearing. Last summer’s derecho left 12 trees down—mostly tulip trees with their top heavy foliage and weak root systems—as well as 4-5 others that were unstable.


I talked with Navy this week about cutting up the huge tree trunks. They have a little money for repairing storm damage to the woodland, so they may be able to apply that. Then, our mighty volunteers can haul 1- to 2-foot sections up the hill.

If we look behind the ruination of the derecho, we find yet another Green Road miracle. You see, I had worried about excess trees at the locations of two important project elements: the council ring and the communal structure. I feared we’d have to take trees down by hand, but the derecho has done it for us. Most of the trees that fell were at those two locations. Where the council ring site once had a heavy canopy, there’s now a perfect circle of sky.

And so, even with much to do, it feels FANTASTIC. Amid the crush of the fallen trees and branches, it’s like a jungle, yet pristine and welcoming, hypnotic in its beauty. No bugs even, just birds, trees, water, deer, and ourselves, and the autumn light filtering down through the cool welcoming air—like the First Morning of the world.