RETREET redefines disaster relief by engaging communities to replant lost trees.
BOULDER RETREET III June 2nd-5th, 2017
Our plan to return to Lyons, CO, a community of about 2,000 people 15 miles north of Boulder, began to formulate immediately upon the successful completion of BOULDER RETREET II. Local partners asked us to return the following year to attend to residents who were not ready to receive trees during our first planting in their community. We were quick to say yes. Talks also began with City of Lyons to generate a plan for the 28 barren buyout lots peppered throughout the confluence area, a storyline that continues to develop!
RETREET staff struck out for Boulder on Tuesday, May 30th, driving the RETREETmobile and new RETREET truck out-of-state for the first time. A host of activities awaited and the RETREET family was ready for this reunion. It was sure to be an excellent way to end the 2016/2017 planting season.
After checking into the amazing home we reserved 5 miles up Sunshine Canyon, we went for a hike, picked up food for the week, and set about finalizing our plans for the planting. Excitement built.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!
Most RETREETers arrived in Boulder on Thursday, June 1st. That evening, the group attended a Chromeo and Rüfüs du Sol concert at Red Rocks, one of the most incredible performance venues in North America. We danced the night away as the sunset gave way to the moonrise over Denver. It was truly magical.
WAITING FOR THE SHOW TO START AT RED ROCKS
The next morning, trees and supplies were delivered to Lyons by our partners The Home Depot and Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery. RETREETers spent most of the day unloading and distributing the materials to home sites. They also enjoyed a walk around the community, during which they visited trees planted the previous year, spoke with residents, and explored a newly-rebuilt park across the street from the confluence area. It was wonderful to see so much progress in Lyons and to know we'd played an important role.
The group then drove over the mountain to Jamestown, the location of our planting during BOULDER RETREET back in 2015. We met with a town representative at Jamestown Mercantile, a familiar haunt, and ordered an epic round of pizzas. While they were baking, the crew explored the small community and checked on the progress of the trees that were planted 2 years earlier. We are happy to report that the vast majority of them were doing incredibly well! Several locals came out to say hello and thank us for the impact we'd made.
VISITING TREES IN JAMESTOWN
The next day started off with a special treat. Unbeknownst to us, Sunshine Pottery Studio also called our rented abode home, and the proprietors of the Airbnb were the artists themselves. They offered a pottery class to the RETREETers, and the offer was heartily accepted. We spent the morning throwing clay on wheels and came away with some great creations, especially for first attempts. After the pottery class, the cadre went for a gorgeous hike through Lefthand Canyon. Some RETREETers were a bit more adventurous than others, scaling boulders and finding epic perches along the way. The only fitting way to end such a fantastic day was to whip up a big meal. Together, that's exactly what we did.
THROWING POTS AT SUNSHINE POTTERY
Following a solid sleep with full bellies, the RETREETers arose Sunday morning, June 5th, ready to plant trees. Joined by 26 Team Depot volunteers and supported by Colorado State Forest Service, the ensemble planted 55 native trees at 11 homes sites and in 3 buyout properties, the latter of which were to serve as a pilot for others, as aforementioned. Luckily, the weather was perfect. Digging conditions were tough, given a large amount of compaction and rocks washing into the soil by the flood, but the group persevered.
Most RETREETers headed home that evening or the following day, but not before we got in a good bike ride around Boulder. BOULDER RETREET III was a productive, relaxing, and meaningful experience. Can't wait for the next one! Special thanks to additional sponsors Lyons Garden Club and Lyons Lions Club.
BIKING AROUND BOULDER
SUNDAY SHOW & TELL vol.110
Over 150 years ago, a hunter named August Dowd discovered a giant sequoia stretching over 300 feet towards the sky. He was dumbfounded. News of the special specimen spread quickly, and eventually a team of lumberjacks showed up to spend the following three weeks cutting it down. The story doesn't end there, though. Read the tragic tail of The Mammoth Tree, a place you can no longer go.
THE MAMMOTH TREE (article)
In hopeful contrast to the above tale, clusters of new baby giant sequoias have begun to spring up in the aftermath of the Rough Fire in the Sierra Nevada. Read this inspiring article about tiny seedlings en route to becoming the world's largest trees.
BABY GIANT SEQUOIAS (article)
Bicycles and trains were invented at roughly the same time in human history. Every year, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic pits one against the other in Colorado. Started by Jim and Tom Meyer decades ago, in 1972, the ride sprang out of a simple boast. Now, it draws thousands of cyclists each year. In 2016, 2,500 cyclists from 43 states and 6 countries accepted the challenge. Can you guess how many of them beat the train?
IRON HORSE: BICYCLE VS TRAIN (video/article)
SUNDAY SHOW & TELL vol.109
Happy Father's Day! Everyone knows who the world's best dad is – yours! Speaking of the best, check out this amazing list of the world's most superlative trees. There are some real gems in this collection. Connecting these dots would be an incredible trip indeed.
A GUIDE TO SUPERLATIVE TREES (infographic)
If your dad is an avid cyclist and you're looking for the perfect gift to give him next year, consider the TwiCycle. Featuring arm-cranks attached to a front wheel gear, this unique ride offers a full body workout. Watch the promo video!
FULL BODY BICYCLE WORKOUT (video)
Have you ever seen a tree droop at night? Researchers in Austria, Finland, and Hungary studied birch trees using lasers and found something fascinating: trees may sleep. You'll have to click the link below for details.
TREES SLEEP AT NIGHT (article)
SUNDAY SHOW & TELL vol.99
Happy Valentine's Day! Here at RETREET, we love trees. Don't you? Trees are home. Trees are sanctuaries. Take a moment to read an excerpt by Hermann Hesse about how trees teach us the truth about who we are. What a perfect partner for Valentine's Day.
TREES ARE SANCTUARIES (essay)
We've seen some impressive cycling over the years, but the set of skills on display at this year's EMS Cup were really something else. It's hard to fathom balance this good.
INSANE BALANCING ACT (video)
Riding a 3-D printed bicycle across a 3-D printed bridge is closer than you think. A group of students in Holland has created prototypes for both. The woven steel frame of their bike is quite eye-catching, don't you think? The future is here!
3-D PRINTED BICYCLE (article)
SUNDAY SHOW & TELL vol.55
NASA recently announced plans to use a laser system originally designed for the International Space Station to create a 3D map Earth's forests in an effort to better understand and quantify their degradation over time. Super cool.
Another amazing technological advance has been proposed by Austrian designer Kristof Retezar. The Fontus is a bicycle bottle system that collects water from the humidity in the air as you ride. Imagine having that during a long ride through the desert!
Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art released a vast archive of 400,000 mostly high resolution digital images for public use. What a treasure trove! We searched through their digital archive and found some fantastic paintings and drawings of trees that we had to share. Check out the link below to the album we created, and feel free to use the images at will for any non-commercial purpose!
3D MAPPING FORESTS WITH SPACE LASERS (article)
COLLECTING WATER FROM THE AIR (article)
TREE IMAGES FROM THE MET (photos)
SUNDAY SHOW & TELL vol.42
Have you ever had your bike stolen? Awful, isn't it? A team of engineering students from Chile has designed a bike whose frame is a lock. A novel approach to preventing theft, this bike can't be stolen intact. Check out Yerka Project at the link below.
Recently, The Diane Rehm Show explored issues facing U.S Forests and Trees, both urban and rural. It's a fascinating listen for a post-ride Sunday afternoon.
Speaking of which, why do you ride your bike? Certainly, there are many reasons to do so. Enjoy an inspirational advertisement about just that. It'll being a smile to your face.