UPDATE: Check out this cool AJC feature.
While we’re basking in the glow of all these memorable high school graduation ceremonies being held at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, it’s fun to read stories like the one in today’s AJC about the group Tree Climbers International‘s debut tree-climbing event at Brown Middle School. Peter “Treeman” Jenkins founded the group a quarter-century ago, and has established the value and importance of tree climbing in the Atlanta community. He also found some willing subjects at Brown Middle.
Eighteen kids from environmental groups at Brown Middle School and Kipp Strive Academy participated in the climb, made possible through an introduction by Robby Astrove, coordinator of Trees Atlanta’s Beltline Arboretum Education Program. The tree selected for the climb, estimated to be 75 years old, was inspected and prepared for climbing by Bartlett Tree Experts.
For some students, it was their first time climbing a tree.
Brown Middle School teacher Jennifer Hall said the technical tree-climbing adventure was the culmination of the students’ environmental efforts. Through their “G-Force” program, students have learned about global warming, started recycling programs, performed cleanup around school property and participated in nature-drawing activities with the Atlanta Audubon Society.
But the rope-and-saddle tree climb was the high point of their year if you ask seventh-grader Victor-Alan Weeks.
“I thought it would be mind-blowing, and when I got up there, it was a big adrenaline rush,” said Weeks, 13. “If it was available to do, I’d like to do it as a hobby.”
Hat tip to Trees Atlanta‘s Robby Astrove for helping us out with this story and for providing these incredibly cool images! (Eli Dickerson took the snap below.)