Through “Saving The Ancients”, we aim to spread awareness of unappreciated gifts from the land, treasures that last over multiple human lifetimes.
One of our premier programs, “Saving the Ancients”, captures stories about how people are protecting and using long-lived native plants to enhance their landscape, reduce dependence on irrigation, fertilizers, and pesticides, nurture native wildlife, and even use those indigenous plants in their yards for food, beverages, art, utensils, and safe herbal remedies.
This program is dedicated to the belief that most people will change their viewpoint, and perhaps their behavior, if they are aware of the advantages—both to their lives and to the planet—of another viewpoint, especially if it also benefits their pocketbook.
“You mean that scrubby bush over there is over 200 years old?”
“Wow, I had no idea!” the bulldozer operator said incredulously, looking down from his tractor at the upturned roots of the desert wild plum in the freshly graded lot.
I walked over to the twisted, broken trunk, where a fracture exposed literally hundreds of dark and light growth rings. I quickly counted a portion of the thin bands which preserved the story of many a spring’s vibrant growth, then summer’s slowing pace before winter’s sleep. “This shrub could easily be three hundred years old, Mike — probably already mature when America was born. I would love to have a cross-cut of the trunk to count this tree’s actual age.” Winter and summer woods, tightly packed together even in favorable rainy years, whispered a preserved history of slow but sturdy growth in this extreme desert climate.
“You know, I could have gone around that plant,” Mike said with some remorse, “but the builder said the homeowner wanted the entire lot graded. I would have tried to save it … if I’d only known.”