Today, National Arbor Day greetings are being shared across the U.S. and in Scotland to celebrate the planting, upkeep and preservation of trees. Ever the muse for painters, poets and naturalists, trees celebrate every season of life. For more than 110 years, the Chicago Scots have been the stewards of five-wooded acres in North Riverside where we have cared for generations of seniors under a canopy of old-growth oaks at the Scottish Home and MacLean House. Our grove of oaks are fragile and special. Here is how Chicago Scots are remembering Arbor Day today.
Amanda Brodie Stenlund
Meet Amanda Brodie Stenlund, a Chicago Scots member and painter, who bonded with an ancient Yew tree on the grounds of her family’s heritage site – Brodie Castle – in Forres, Scotland. Amanda enjoyed a week long artist’s retreat at the Castle last summer, now cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. In her Chicago studio, she is painting larger, more in depth landscapes from the many sketches and paintings she created on the trip. Chicago Scots is planning a future exhibition of Amanda’s work at Caledonia Senior Living. Until then, enjoy learning how Amanda, overcame her fear of painting trees and magnificently captured the Brodie Castle Yew. Learn more about the shrubs and trees on the Castle’s grounds as shared by the groundskeeper during lockdown. Nature is everyone’s home albeit Scotland, North Riverside, or your own backyard. Enjoy learning more about Amanda’s passion for trees.
For Gary Glazner, our Poet-in-Residence at Caledonia Senior Living, Arbor Day reminds him of climbing and swinging from trees as a kid. Gary brings memories alive through the power of poetry for people living with dementia. He founded the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project in 2003 and has taught over 5,000 family caregivers, healthcare workers and artists how to use poetry as a communication tool to spark memories. Next week, he will launch a new phase of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project at the Scottish Home when he hosts a ‘naming party’ for a 5’ poetry robot that will bring a new interactive program to the Home. Poetry speaks to the heart of every Scot. Take a moment to enjoy the eclectic selection of tributes Gary has culled in honor of Arbor Day, including a poem of his own.
Recovering from Storm Damage
Last June, a powerful spring storm caused substantial damage to the trees and landscaping at Caledonia Senior Living including the loss of several old-growth trees over a century old. Residents and staff were heartbroken to see the change in the canopy around the Scottish Home.
McAdams Landscaping, our neighbor and friend, was quick to help clear and restore the grounds. Within 24 hours, a Response and Restoration Appeal was underway to replace our trees. We want to thank everyone for their generous support. Our grounds look good again and we have new young saplings in place. But more trees are needed. This Arbor Day, consider a gift to help us replace more lost trees.
Tree replacement costs range from $1,500-5,000 (with naming rights).
Every gift counts and we appreciate your support!