Eastmorelanders celebrate success in 'Saving the Giants'
Since they started the project, the Eastmoreland group calling themselves "Save the Giants" has had a number of celebrations in the lot at 3656 S.E. Martins Street, under those giant Sequoia trees which were saved from a developer's chainsaws.
During the Holidays, the group held tree-lighting parties; supporters came to "Save The Giants Jams" during the summers – and the residential-sized lot became a destination for school trips, during the past four years.
But, the "Save The Giants Jam #4", held on Saturday, June 22, was a very special one, according to the organization's President, Arthur Bradford.
"'Save the Giants' is a nonprofit organization – and it now owns this property!" Bradford exclaimed, as some of the 300 people who attended the party enjoyed the afternoon listening to music in what's now being called "Save the Giants Park".
"Four years ago, it looked as if these magnificent trees were coming down; crews were here with chainsaws, and there were ropes in the trees," Bradford recalled about this story, covered from the beginning by THE BEE.
"There was a really exciting week in September four years ago, when hundreds of people came together to save the trees by purchasing the property," Bradford recalled. "That took a lot of time and work, on behalf of a lot of people."
By holding parties and special events, and promoting merchandise sales and online fundraising, the organization eventually raised a remarkable $400,000 to pay for the land.
"We started our celebration today by being $7,000 short of the goal; but by the end of the day, we've cleared our fundraising goal significantly," Bradford announced to cheers as the party wound down.
All for the love of trees
What captured the imagination of supporters, Bradford said, is that the giant Sequoias are estimated to be 130 years old, with the largest one standing about 180 feet tall.
"Because we've reached our fundraising goal, that doesn't mean that we will stop holding events like this," Bradford assured. "We will continue to have school groups come and visit. They come and learn about these trees, and the history of the property, which is really important to us."
The group plans to build a better stage in the corner of the lot, and perhaps add some other natural amenities, he remarked. "Then, we want to raise money for other nonprofit organizations, by holding more events here – in addition to our Holiday Tree Lighting and our summer barbecue.
"In this way, the trees will be now be 'giving back' to the community that helped save them!"
For more information on the organization, go online – www.save-the-giants.org
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