nff-logoI got the greatest present, err, I mean second greatest present, I could ever dream of this Christmas. No, it wasn’t jewelry or a new car or a vacation to some exotic island. Brace yourself. It was trees! 25 to be exact. I’m not sure what classification of species: deciduous, coniferous or evergreen, but all will be planted in my honor somewhere across our vast National Forest System.

(A Hillary win was my first pick).

Thank you to my newly-conservation-conscious boyfriend. Of course, he still sells fossil fuels for a living but one challenge at a time.

The donation is an effort by the not-profit organization NFF or National Forest Foundation. They dropped an email down my digital chimney landing on my desktop a few days shy of Christmas. Opportune timing too having just returned from a hike at another Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy property not far from Albany called the Winifred Matthews Holt Preserve.

While hiking the 148-acre property, anyone could easily tell that the land was once stripped of trees centuries ago when farming was boss. The blue marked Helderberg Overlook Trail included a relatively intact old stone boundary wall while the field next to the pond sits a dilapidated barn begging for preservation. I’m guessing based on size and scope that most trees are relatively young, under 50 years.

Holt Preserve

Holt Preserve

Holt Preserve

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