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For the love of Walden Woods.

"Walden Wood was my forest walk," Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal on April 12, 1852. And walk he did, and observe, and contemplate, and write.

So insightful and intimate with the land were his writings that more than a century later, the threat of office condominiums and parking lots intruding on some of his favored sites has fueled a nationwide movement to protect these areas of Walden Woods.

Last month, 140 years to the day after Thoreau wrote of his walk, several thousand people stepped out on a forest walk of their own. The Walk for Walden Woods, in and around Lincoln and Concord, Massachusetts, raised funds to purchase and preserve the Brister's Hill and Bear Garden Hill areas in the woods surrounding historic Walden Pond.

The Walk also provided a forum to announce Global ReLeaf's partnership in the campaign. For several years, volunteers have been collecting seed from trees growing in Walden Woods. Under the aegis of the American Forestry Association's Famous & Historic Trees program, thousands of young red maples and river birches are now available for people to plant in their yards and communities, or to contribute for planting in special groves. One-third of the purchase price is earmarked for the Walden Woods fund.

A galaxy of Hollywood stars (see photo) recently gathered at the home of recording artist and citizen-activist Don Henley to plant the first tree of the Global ReLeaf Walden Woods Campaign. Since rounding The Eagles rock band in the 1970s, Henley has been an influential and driving force in popular music. He is now also the driving force behind the Walden Woods Project.

A film crew recorded the planting for TV spots now airing on the MTV networks, PBS, and elsewhere. The campaign is also receiving a big push from Hard Rock Cares, Mr. Coffee, and Tyson Foods, among others.

The cost of a Walden Woods tree is $35, plus shipping. Credit-card orders can be placed on a special toll-free number: 800-766-1055. With each 18- to 36-inch tree and tree shelter, purchasers also receive a personalized certificate of authenticity signed by Henley.

Walking and planting are just the latest flurry of activities to raise the $8 to $10 million needed to acquire the two threatened sites. A book, benefit concerts, and other efforts have raised $3 million thus far.

For example, last October Henley gathered top recording artists at New York's Madison Square Garden for five nights of sold-out concerts that raised $1.7 million.

Last year, Henley edited a collection of essays about Thoreau and the environment. The book's title came from Thoreau's Walden: "Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." Featured are essays by such diverse personalities as James Michener, Wallace Stegner, James Earl Jones, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, and Jimmy Carter, The paperback edition of Heaven Is Under Our Feet is to be published by Labor Day.

With its young Walden Woods trees, Global ReLeaf offers people an opportunity to improve the environment while nurturing the spirits of naturalists everywhere. The trees offer a way to help protect Walden Woods and a chance for people to capture a piece of Thoreau's heaven, right in their own backyards..
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Forests
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:AFA Programs; tree planting at Walden Woods, MA
Author:Smith, Dan
Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:May 1, 1992
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