This tree is dedicated to: Jaelyn Hunt
When I was born, the other baby trees in the nursery were much bigger than me; much cuter, too. But they were fun to be around and we all got along. After all, we are from the same family.
My family name is Aceraceae, and my first name is Acer. Sounds a little strange, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, I have a nickname. Everybody calls me Maple. My family is so big, in fact; that we have to have another name to tell us apart. So, in my big family, I’m Red Maple; one cousin is named Sugar Maple; another one is called Silver Maple. Oh, there are so many cousins in my family that live so far away that I have never even met all of them and don’t even know all of their nicknames. But don’t bother about that, I’m here to be with you, to stay with you for years and years. We’ll eventually get to know one another, and we’re going to have lots of fun.
Right now, I’m still kind of skinny and fragile, so would you mind looking after me while I get used to this neighborhood? You will probably have to keep people from stepping on me; give me some extra water in the summertime, if it gets too dry; and maybe even cover me up in the winter; if it gets too cold for me.
Just keep an eye out for me, just like the kind caretakers who raised my whole family did, back in the nursery. If you would please watch over me when I am young, I promise that I will watch over you when I grow up. Some day you will enjoy sitting under the shade of my branches; someday you may want to collect the little helicopters that I grow to spread my seed; and for sure, someday you will come to see how pretty my leaves become in the fall of the year. Our family wears such pretty clothes, that my Mom says we ought to be proud of that.
But today, I’m here to dedicate my service to Jaelyn Hunt. Too bad that Jaelyn is not as healthy as most of you kids are. Right now she has some problems walking, but together we can make her feel a little better in knowing that someday, she might be the first one to climb up into my branches and shake my helicopters, just to watch them shower down in the sunlight.
I’m really proud to be here for Jaelyn Hunt, and I’m honored that you chose me to serve your school. They tell me that there are other schools who could use special friends like me. Wouldn't it be nice if we could watch each other growing up together?
About the author
Jenny Smith is a made-up name, but Dedication Trees are real. Sometimes they are planted to honor a single person; sometimes to mark an event. If I had my druthers, I would like to see schools across the nation(s) have tree seedlings on hand for dedication purposes. My druthers would also have the Cub Scouts; Brownie Scouts; and/or Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts establish tree planting as an ongoing project, with Dedication Trees as one such objective. My druthers would start with seed collection, seedling transplanting, care and nurturing; and other feasible activities. Not much space is required and there in minimal cost involved. Minimal space is also required for the spots chosen for the Dedication Trees. Of course, school officials, teachers, and fellow students should be part of the process in selecting appropriate places to plant Dedication Trees. The system does work, and I've seen lots of places where it has been put into effect. But if I had my druthers, it would happen everywhere.