(USNewsMag.com) – An activist from Seattle is perched on top of an enormous 200-year-old red cedar tree, set to be cut down to make room for six new affordable housing units. The tree has been named Luma.
Luma is 80 feet tall, with two thick trunks, each about 4 feet around. The occupation of Luma started on July 14, with activists taking turns in the tree, sitting in a hammock attached to the branches.
“Droplet 2,” an activist, stated that her objective is to occupy the tree and persuade arborists to decline the building developers’ tree removal. She believes that affordable housing and trees can exist together.
The initial plan was to remove the tree, but it was put on hold following the first Droplet’s ascent.
According to Droplet 2, she was “selected” to protect Luma and thinks that the tree won’t interfere with the building work. Signs have been placed in the area requesting public assistance to save the tree.
According to a letter from the Snoqualmie Tribe, the tree—which is set to be cut down soon—was historically utilized for navigation in an Indigenous trail system.
Awareness events have been held by supporters while activists sit inside the tree. Others are on the ground, supporting Droplet 2’s efforts as she sits 50 feet in the air. Fellow activists sit in lawn chairs under the shade of Luma, providing Droplet 2 with food and water, using a rope and bucket to get items to her.
To combat climate change and its impact, cities nationwide have promised to plant more trees. Trees serve the dual purpose of cooling cities and absorbing carbon dioxide. Researchers suggest that old trees in cities should also be maintained, as it takes a decade or two for new plantings to deliver environmental advantages.
Droplet 2 intends to remain in the tree for as long as necessary, noting she will stay for a year or as long as Luma needs her.
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