To help offset carbon consumption for his coming of age trip to Scotland, Brendan Hurd chose to have a grove planted in Scotland.
Brendan Hurd (age 12) selected the Scottish Highlands as the destination for his two-week coming of age trip (from the US). His grandmother, aunt, and cousin once-removed accompanied him, as did his teenaged older brother and cousin (and neither parent!). He was responsible for leading and making decisions on the trip, navigation through the airport, taking on adult responsibilities, and developing relationships with others on the trip. Scotland was chosen for our heritage, and he saw names of ancestors and places they had lived throughout Scotland. As a family heritage trip, everyone was encouraged to think about the history of land and people, both. Brendan noticed the efforts to help return Scottish lands to their former ecological norms. Since the family coming of age trips consume carbon, each child on the coming of age trip is asked to select an offsetting action to help balance the ecological impact of traveling. After researching options in Scotland, Brendan chose a Trees for Life grove for several reasons: 1. Brendan wanted to be able to designate and name a grove or location. Especially as he wouldn't be able to go help plant trees, as he's done locally, he liked the idea of a named grove. We have a named family grove in the California Redwoods, also. 2. Biodiversity was one of the topics of conversation when he was talking with people in Scotland about reforestation efforts. Brendan liked that multiple species of trees are being planted, and that groves can encompass existing trees to have multi-stage growth, which supports more species. 3. Brendan likes the animal diversity that is supported by grove planting, and is more interested in planting for creating islands with richer ecology than in planting for economic purposes. The selection of the carbon offset/ecological balancing is the final action of Brendan's coming of age trip, and is an important part of taking on the responsibilities of adulthood. It was a fantastic trip, a journey not just a tour. He got to be an adult in the world, with attention to the interdependent web of all life, his responsibilities to his host country when he travels, and an opportunity to not just manage how he impacts today but to think about how he impacts the world tomorrow and in years to come.
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