Read full article by reporter Rebecca L. Bennett with photos by Rebecca L. Bennett, Hill Country View Magazine online Sunday, January 1, 2017
“As a kid, my family would stay in this little lake house in central Florida, and I would always climb this huge live oak on the shore,” says Matt Mears, carefully pulling a pecan sapling out of a thin plastic pot. “It’s covered in these beautiful resurrection ferns and draped with Spanish moss, and it has this long bough that stretches out over the water.”
Matt places the young tree into a fresh hole dug beside the Blanco River in Kyle’s Five Mile Dam Park and packs soil around it.
“That live oak is one of my favorite trees,” he continues, stepping back and dusting off his hands. “Through forestry, I’ve learned that people can develop these really deep emotional bonds to specific trees and have profound connections to nature.”
Matt works as reforestation manager for Treefolks, an Austin-based nonprofit focused on strengthening communities through conservation initiatives. Founded in 1989, TreeFolks has played a critical role for nearly three decades in keeping Central Texas’ urban forests healthy and educating landowners about the many ecological services provided by nature as a whole, and especially by trees. Read the full article