Sometimes a book comes along that under normal circumstances we would truly appreciate. But when a new book launches at a time when we have had so many social activities canceled due to an unprecedented pandemic, a good book takes on a whole new meaning.
Such a book is: Trees of Fort Collins, A Field Guide by Renée Galeano-Popp and John B. Popp.
At a time when many of us are understandably stressed, we have been advised to practice social distancing. We’ve been urged to go out only for necessities such as food, medication or a daily walk. We’ve also been advised not to escape to the mountains to reduce the possible added stress on our medical facilities sometimes brought on by car accidents and/or the need for search and rescue.
At a time like this, one may wonder what activities are still open to us in real-time beyond technology which after a while can feel rather “unreal.”
Consider that the National Park Service advises that a 30-minute walk in nature improves concentration and boosts your immune system. And further, that natural aromas from wood and plants have calming effects and that viewing nature reduces mental fatigue — a winning formula in our current times!
Here in Fort Collins Spring has sprung and trees in our locality are about to strut their stuff. It’s the perfect time to pick up the new field guide to trees all around Fort Collins by local retired botanist and forest ecologist, Renée Galeano-Popp.
In an interview, Renée said: “The white flowering Pear trees along roadsides and shopping centers usually show up first while the Norway maples with their yellow flowers are hard to miss in early Spring because the tree crowns are so large — streets in the City Park area are a great place to see them. Next, Crabapples with their white, pink and red flowers will start showing up everywhere.”
This field guide showcases the opportunity to plan nature walks in City Park, CSU, and the Gardens on Spring Creek plus excursions to see trees in community parks and along roadsides. With descriptions and photographs of over 200 species and locations where they can be found, this book provides the inspiration for relaxing outdoor adventures that can be pursued while still observing social distancing.
Some trees described in the book are locally uncommon with fewer than 5 locations — some are even “onesies” occurring mainly at the CSU Heritage Arboretum.
Renée and her husband John, who took all 420 photos, considered the two years they spent on this project a labor of love. Offering welcomed assistance were staff from Fort Collins City Forestry, Natural Areas Department, CSU Horticulture Department, and specialists at the Gardens on Spring Creek.
Books are currently available at Larimer County Forestry at 2649 East Mulberry Street and through the Colorado Native Plant Society online at conps.org under garden books. At this time, Renée also provides door-to-door no-contact delivery by request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arbor Day is Friday, April 24 this year. Treat yourself to a calming outdoor nature walk with this new guide or stay in and read all about the “Trees of Fort Collins.” After all, since 1978 Fort Collins has been designated a “Tree City” by the Arbor Day Foundation.
Trees of Fort Collins, A Field Guide by Renée Galeano-Popp and John B. Popp
$25, softcover, 266 pages, 6″ X 9″ portrait, full color with over 400 photographs