The Susie Forest, a Spokane-based initiative, has taken root in Afghanistan.
Nancy MacKerrow is the Spokane woman whose daughter, Susie Stephens, was killed in 2002 when she was hit by a bus in St. Louis. Susie was an activist for the rights of pedestrians and bicyclists. Nancy has been planting trees in Spokane, and around the world, in an initiative known as the Susie Forest.
Recently I got this email from Matt McCain. He wrote:
I'm a former Americorps intern at Spokane Urban Forestry currently deployed with the Washington Air National Guard in Afghanistan. At urban forestry I had the opportunity to help Nancy MacKerrow of Spokane, founder of the Susie Forest in memory of her daughter, plant and dedicate several trees. Nancy asked me to try to dedicate a tree to the Susie Forest while I'm deployed. I finally managed to do it.
Matt sent photos of the tree and this explainer:
The dedication of three trees took place on August 7 at German-run airbase outside of Mazar-E-Sharif, Afghanistan's 4th largest city. Two of the trees will be replanted at Mazar-E-Sharifs most important site--the Blue Mosque in the center of the city. Unfortunately, the species of the tree got lost in translation between me and the German caretaker.
Thanks Matt! Stay safe out there.
(The photo, courtesy of Matt McCain shows, from left to right: Master Sgt Kevin Borden, Senior Airman Matt McCain, Major Scott Eklund and Master Sgt Thomas Siegel)