Meet Myra, a professional Treelosopher
You never know who you’ll run into on a walk in the park.
As I was taking my daily walk yesterday (well, on most good-weather days) in Baltimore’s beautiful 745 acre park (third oldest in America after Philly and Central Park), I passed by this strange sight:
A woman in a brightly colored vest with an iPad hugging a tree!
I nodded and kept going as I tried to make sense of that picture.
No luck. I stopped and went back to say hello, and find out who she was and what she was doing.
She was Myra; she was not hugging the tree, she was identifying it, counting it, measuring its girth, and collecting other data for tree management by the recs and parks service.
Myra is a professional “treelosopher,” I thought – one with lived experiential knowledge of trees as opposed to a mere “treeologist” – one who writes and talks about trees (like what I’m doing now). She agreed to a brief interview and picture for this blog. Thank you, Myra.
“Who uses this data for what purpose,” I asked.
“In addition to maintaining a healthy park, the parks and recs folks get calls from the public about safety from trees that have fallen or are about to fall; they also handle complaints,” Myra stated with a smile.
“What do people complain about,” I wondered?
Myra got animated and said, “When people call in to complain they usually say one two things: (1) ‘You are not going to cut down that beautiful tree, are you?’ (2) ‘It’s about time you are finally getting rid of that annoying tree.”’
“Wow, polarization between two extreme views, even in a beautiful park over trees! I guess this is the common disease of the binary world we live in these days,” I offered.