Most people know that Tree Musketeers was founded by third graders in 1987 when they planted Marcie the Marvelous Tree. The eight-year-olds were so inspired upon learning all the good a single tree could do that they promised each other then and there to never stop planting trees until there were no more environmental problems. Four generations of youth leaders along with two Baby Marcies celebrated the 25th birthday of Marcie the Marvelous Tree on May 8th.
So, what has happened to Marcie in the 25 years since she was set free in the soil and charged with so much environmental and social work? You can get the details on the Marcie the Marvelous Tree page in the Trees section of this website. In a nutshell, she has grown to 60 feet tall, leans a bit from the vandalizing incident chronicled in her autobiography, became a Famous and Historic Tree in the national registry, spawned hundreds of babies that were adopted into good homes through the Historic Tree Nursery, is the subject of a children’s musical and continues to inspire kids everywhere to plant and care for trees.
What about the organization Marcie inspired? Tree Musketeers began as a small tree planting project and promptly mushroomed to a national organization in five years on 100% volunteer power, primarily inkind donations and the tenacity of kids. Now with an increasing international presence, it is still a place where kids are boss with a modest headquarters in El Segundo and a small paid staff, although it remains largely volunteer-driven.
As for the little girl founders, they have of course grown up and gone out into the world to do good things. Most have moved away as tends to happen in our mobile society, many are still involved in one way or another, and a few continue to be hands-on with Tree Musketeers. One of the founders, Tara Church, chairs the board of directors and attended Marcie’s birthday party.
Who are the young people that followed in the founders’ footsteps? Angelica Roque, also pictured with Marcie, accepted the leadership torch on behalf of the second generation. Adam Gerard represented the third generation at the party and is actively readying the next group of young leaders to take over. They come from throughout the South Bay, Los Angeles and as far away as South Gate. At the party were Raquel Gerard, Lina McDermott, Samantha Cano, Talia Gerard, Blake Parker and Julian Poyourow.
Stay tuned to see how things unfold in the coming years!