It started out small – just three trees planted in 2003. After I planted the first three trees, I asked to plant more “Susie Trees”. I was told, ‘You don’t want to plant Susie trees. You want to plant a Susie Forest.’ Since then, The Susie Forest has grown to over 300 trees, and not just in Spokane, but all over the world.
The Susie Forest is a living, growing, legacy to my daughter Susie and her commitment to creating livable communities. Susie was a bicyclist, an environmentalist, an activist, and a world traveler. She was dedicated to educating others about bicyclist and pedestrian safety, and she was killed in 2002 after being struck by a bus while legally walking across the street in St. Louis.
I chose to start The Susie Forest for three reasons:
1. To honor Susie by planting trees for her.
2. To honor Susie by helping others plant meaningful trees.
3. To honor Susie by continuing her activism.
Each tree planted is a reminder that life goes on and starts anew, and except for the two trees planted every year on Susie’s birthday and the anniversary of her death, every tree planted in The Susie Forest is associated with someone else. Whether it is to celebrate the birth of a newborn or a special anniversary, as a memorial for someone else taken too soon, or to celebrate a reading program at a local library or school, each Susie tree is deeply rooted in personal connection.
I work closely with Reforest Spokane, a program of the Spokane Parks Foundation, and some of The Susie Forest is planted as street trees, which are desperately needed in our area. Most trees have been planted in public parks, at libraries and other public sites, and on private property. Just as Susie traveled the world, The Susie Forest has gone national & global! There are trees planted in Washington D.C., and as far away as New Zealand and Iran.
To plant a tree in The Susie Forest, contact me at TheSusieForest@hotmail.com
Trees mean life.