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Kathy Mattea: If Trees Could Sing

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Monday August 31, 2015

From The Knoxville News Sentinel

Kathy Mattea: Program lets singers tell you about trees
By: Kathy Mattea

If you are like me, you have probably been to a park or in a forest and wondered: What kind of tree is that? In addition to being beautiful, trees are also so different, which makes identifying them a challenge. Just think about a slender dogwood tree with its delicate white blossoms, compared to the majestic height and girth of a full-grown tulip poplar with its big yellow flowers. They’re very different trees, but not all of us can easily identify one on sight.

Thanks to The Nature Conservancy, Knoxville City Parks and some of my musical friends, folks in Knoxville can learn more about trees when they visit Morningside Park and Victor Ashe Park. Last month, Knoxville City Parks installed The Nature Conservancy’s colorful new tree signs in those two parks identifying 19 different kinds of trees.

But those signs do more than just identify the trees by name. Every sign has a photo of a well-known singer or musician and a little square graphic code known as a QR Code. When you scan that code with your smartphone, it takes you to a video of a music artist — Ben Folds, Reba McEntire, Amy Grant, bass player Victor Wooten, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show — talking about that tree: how you can recognize it, what its special features are. We call the program “If Trees Could Sing.”

To read the full article click here and visit www.nature.org/iftreescouldsing to see videos by Kathy and her fellow musicians.