For the love of trees: arboretums, activism and the reverence of creation

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George from A World Heritage Site in our Backyard: preserving and profiting from the history, culture, and ecology of the Lower Falls Gorge

George Payne  graduated from the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and is a Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Finger Lakes Community College and Niagara County Community College.

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Trash Day in Brighton, first snowfall, October 27th, 2016 8:16 a.m. [Photo: David Kramer]

In 2014 George founded Gandhi Earth Keepers International, an online social justice network for activists devoted to environmentalism.

Today, George fuses three themes of his life.

And what better day than the morning of the first snowfall.

Arboretums, Activism and the Reverence of Creation

(Photography by George Payne with links to related articles by George and others)

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

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from Design & Democracy: A Photographic Gallery of Regional Works by Frederick Law Olmsted

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

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Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”

Maya Angelou

 

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Exchange Street, Rochester, NY

 

 The Spirit of Corn Hill Lives: Photographing Rochester’s Most Historically Diverse Neighborhood

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Genesee Valley Park

 

 The difference between softball and kick ball: Shotgunning

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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George Payne at Rattlesnake Point

 

  Turning Point Park: an ecological jewel looks to the future

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King’s Landing in Rochester, NY

 

 Touring Hawkeye: An Inside Look at Kodak’s Most Enigmatic Landmark

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Mt. Hope Cemetery

 

 “Alone in the Dawn” Restorationist James Caffrey joins the conversation with more on Adelaide Crapsey

 
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Gandhi Earth Keepers International Art Build

 

 Crisscrossing Rochester with Art Force 5

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Photosynthesis

 
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Watkins Glen Race Track

 
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Abandoned farm in Adams, NY

 

 Abandoned Farm: A Gallery of Photographs by George Payne

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Mt. Hope Cemetery

 

 In Mount Hope Cemetery remembering the tragic vision of Adelaide Crapsey

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Crescent Trail in Penfield, NY

 
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George Payne with Frances Moore Lappe

 

 Scenes from the 2016 World on Your Plate Conference with a Food Justice Icon

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Serenity Garden in Canandaigua, NY

 

Can Philosophy be Taught Online? One Professor’s Stance and Stand

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People who knew how to take care of the trees

 

Living the Native American way of being at Haudenosaunee Days at the RMSC

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Exchange Street

 
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Exchange Street

 
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Genesee Valley Park

 

 Design & Democracy: A Photographic Gallery of Regional Works by Frederick Law Olmsted

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Highland Park

 

 On the Memorial Day Parade and The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam

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“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
John Muir

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Trees help fight climate change. Through the natural process of photosynthesis, trees absorb CO2 and other pollutant particulates, then store the carbon and emit pure oxygen.

 

Learning for the Long Haul: The Campus Sustainability Movement Grows

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Mt. Hope Cemetery

 

 In Memorium: In search of Talker at the Grand Light Torch Tour

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Seneca Park

 

Founded in January 2016, the Lower Falls Foundation is a social purpose enterprise in Rochester, New York, dedicated to revitalizing the Lower Falls Gorge. Check it out at .Lowerfallsfdn.org

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Litter cleanup at Maplewood Park and Lower Falls Park

 

 A World Heritage Site in our Backyard: preserving and profiting from the history, culture, and ecology of the Lower Falls Gorge

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”
Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam

 

 
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Turning Point Park

Turning Point Park: an ecological jewel looks to the future

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Mt. Hope Cemetery

 

 On Spanish-American War monuments in Rochester. And remembering the Buffalo Soldiers on Veteran’s Day 

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Seth Green Trail on the East Side of the Genesee River

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National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama, NY

 

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge: One of the best kept secrets of Western New York

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Charlotte, NY

 

 A Rochester that I Know

“Look: the trees exist; the houses
we dwell in stand there stalwartly.
Only we
pass by it all, like a rush of air.
And everything conspires to keep quiet
about us,
half out of shame perhaps, half out of
some secret hope.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies

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Exchange Street

 

Downtown Rochester

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Genesee Valley Park

 

Promoting Wellness through softball at the URMC

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Thank you card from students at Roberto Clemente School # 8

 

 45 years ago when the Pittsburgh Pirates fielded a team of “All brothers out there”

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Genesee Riverway Trail

 Design & Democracy: A Photographic Gallery of Regional Works by Frederick Law Olmsted