The Lorax doesn’t need to speak for these trees. They can speak for themselves.
Lining the east section of the Beltline, near the Krog Street Market, a special group of trees are outfitted with distinctive signs bearing QR codes that let visitors access videos telling the back story of the water oak and the hackberry and the like.
It’s part of a program created by the Nature Conservancy in Tennessee and transplanted to Atlanta. Like the Nashville and Knoxville trees, the Beltline trees direct visitors to recordings by such musicians as Reba McEntire, Amy Grant, Bela Fleck, Ben Folds, Taylor Hicks, Suzy Bogguss, Kathy Mattea and Atlanta rapper Eightball, talking about the importance of conservation, and offering useful tree knowledge.
In one video you can see bluegrass musician Tim O’Brien sawing away (at his fiddle) on a tune called “Chinkapin Hunting” before telling a bit about the Chinkapin oak spreading its leaves above him. South Georgia tree farmer (and Rolling Stones pianist) Chuck Leavell tells the story of the longleaf pine.
The purpose of the program, supported by Atlanta partner Trees Atlanta, is to celebrate upcoming Arbor Day (April 29) and Earth Day (Friday, April 22).