I have been a proud member of the Casey Trees staff for over a year and this summer I have the opportunity to be a captain for the Water By-Cycle crew. The WBC crew is composed of two bike captains and four high school students. We travel by bike to water trees in parks, like Sherman Circle, and schools such as Hyde ES and Calvin Coolidge HS. On July 5th, for example, we watered blackgum, river birch and fringe trees at Sherwood Recreation Center in Ward 6.
We face special challenges like carrying around 250 feet of hose on a bike trailer and fixing flat tires on the road. We spend our days exposed to heat and traffic so safety is of utmost concern. The bike crew takes advantage of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (where we also water trees) and bike lanes throughout the city to reach our destinations. The bike crew has set a goal to water 78 trees per day and as of July 1st we have watered 561 trees. By the end of the summer the WBC plans to water 2,574 trees.
Personally, I find great reward in watering trees that I have planted during past Community Tree Planting seasons. Last week I watered London plane trees on Monroe Street in Brookland that were among the first I planted with Casey Trees. The trees were in need of water and we pruned many suckers from the base of the trunk. I felt a sense of satisfaction after caring for trees that I had planted.
For the remainder of the program we hope to stay safe, reach our tree watering goal and enjoy the unique experience of caring for trees by bike!
|Mike Ferguson with the new Water By-Cycle trailer|