On Saturday, October 11, the Stuart Center staff and a group of volunteers from across the area came together and braved a muddy and rainy morning to plant some new trees on the grounds of Stuart Center. Over 25 Volunteers attended the event, and Casey Trees provided 14 trees for the grounds including Hollies, Mountain Silverbells, and Black Gum species. The trees are a beautiful addition to the Stuart Center landscape and will be a benefit to the environment.
Planting trees is one of the best things that we can do to have an impact on the local environment, as trees are crucial to helping stop soil erosion, cleaning the air, and providing oxygen by the natural process of respiration, with one mature tree providing enough oxygen for 2 people to breathe in an entire year. Casey Trees has been integral to repopulating the urban tree canopy of Washington, DC since they were started by a local entrepreneur, Betty Brown Casey, who donated their family farm as an orchard to produce trees to be planted in Washington, DC. Over the last 12 years Casey Trees has set a goal of attaining 40% canopy by 2035; planted over 17,500 trees; educated thousands of residents about the importance of urban tree canopy.
The morning started out not only with a lesson in horticulture, but in history, as volunteers found a Civil War era cannonball fired from Fort Totten, which sits just up the hill from the Stuart Center. Fort Totten was a Union battlement that was just a short distance from President Lincoln's summer home, with 20 guns and mortars, including eight 32-pounders. The fort's 100-pounder Parrott rifle provided long-range support to Fort Stevens during Confederate General Jubal A. Early's attack on that fort on July 11 and 12, 1864.