Written by Danielle Winter
This story is about Lilah and her desire for others around her, especially her fellow students, to learn about how important trees are to the environment. She believes that if people learn about how important tress are to our environment then maybe the world would do more things to care for our planet.
Keywords: curiosity, adventure, determination
Lilah loved to take walks through the woods in the summer time. Every year since she was a little girl she would come and walk in the forest for hours and hours. She loved the rustling of the trees as slight glimpses of sun made their way past them. She loved to listen to the birds as they chirped mindlessly together.
One day, she was taking her usual walk into the forest and noticed a very desolate place. There was a part of the forest that had been cut down to make room for the growing town. She knew that people needed trees to use for firewood, paper, and space. However, she didn’t think that it would be so much.
“There might be a better way to harvest trees more honorably. Otherwise, maybe there would be more of the forest here today,” Lilah said quietly to herself. “All of the birds and other animals that I have made friends with, I let them down,” she said sadly. “Next year this space will all be cut down trees and dirt.”
She remembers reading a book describing how hunter-gather people with few possessions lived off the land and became an affluent society. “The Native Americans lived off the land hundreds of years ago and were quite good at it,” she thought to herself. “We get the food and supplies that we need from the earth and here we are destroying the planet by cutting down too many trees and other environmental things we do,” she thought to herself.
“What would be a better alternative? And how do we get there? I think that one of the ways we can help the environment, especially forests, is by planting trees whenever we cut one down. In this way, we could learn to take better care of our environment. After all, trees give us the oxygen we need to breathe and they are very pretty to look at,” she said again as she started to make her way back to her house.
When she got to her house, she went inside to find her mother. “Mom part of the woods have been cut down,” Lilah said walking into the kitchen. “Yes, I noticed that the other day. I was planning on telling you since I know how much you enjoy walking in the woods,” said her mother who was busy trying to prepare dinner. Lilah could feel her stomach start to gurgle. She didn’t realize how hungry she had become from her long walk in the woods today.
“I wish the people knew how much I like walking in those woods. Then maybe they would not have cut them down. What if all the birds and animals disappear and I never see them again? Can’t we tell the people to stop cutting the trees down and maybe do something else like planting a tree?” she asked.
“Well, Lilah, while some people do try to help the environment by relying on an alternative to help planting trees, sometimes it is not enough. It is not just changing in a policy that we need, but we also need a change of heart,” said her mother.
“What do you mean change of heart?” asked Lilah. “If people could understand the benefit and the importance of things like trees, water, and the environment then they would realize that we need to take care of the planet. This is our home, Lilah and it is a responsible thing for us to.”
“I want to tell my teacher about this tomorrow. I want my class to know about how important trees are and what can happen if we take too many of them down,” said Lilah sliding in her chair as dinner time got closer.
“That is a very good idea,” said her mother. “I think it would be very helpful to not just talk about trees, but tell everyone all the benefits and all the things that trees provide for us can help your friends to understand how important they are.”
The next day Lilah went to school and told her teacher all about what she and her mother discussed yesterday. Her teacher loved Lilah’s idea so much that she had Lilah give a speech to her whole class. The students loved it so much that they started their own environmental club at the school.