Not Easy Being Green

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“It’s not easy bein’ green;

Having to spend each day the color of the leaves…

…But green’s the color of Spring

And green can be cool and friendly-like

And green can be big like the ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree.”

(“Bein’ Green. Lyrics and music:

Joe Raposo, Sesame Street. 1970)

Remember Kermit’s Song? Muppet Puppet Kermit laments his green coloration. He’s sad because he thinks he’s just not special enough, that he just “…blends in with so many ordinary things.”

I have to admit I felt like that once or twice, especially growing up, and I bet you did, too. It’s hard to be taken seriously when nobody even sees you. The genius of “Bein’ Green” is that the children who heard their friend Kermit sing his song on Sesame Street also heard about finding out they just might be something more than ordinary, after all.

Frogs, and trees, and me. A nice trio… all some kind of special, even when they go unnoticed.

So, this week your Jamestown Gazette and this week’s cover story writer, Heidi Woodard, invite you to take Earth Day and “GreenUp Jamestown,” very personally. Enjoy being green. The day is here again this year with a reminder that important things – the kind which all too often go unnoticed – are anything but unimportant.

I bet, however, that you don’t walk along 3rd Street in downtown Jamestown hugging each and every tree. And you probably don’t drive past Baker Street’s Bergman Park every day congratulating the green woods for its fine shade of chlorophyll.

If you did, we’d probably see you on a TV newscast pretty soon being led away to someplace quite restful.

But please don’t let that stop you! Green really is important enough to get its share of notice. Lots of people will be joining you in offering your thanks on GreenUp Jamestown Day.

Consider some of these factoids about Kermit’s favorite color:

  • It only takes one large tree to make all the oxygen four people will need for a whole day.
  • Trees can cool a city by up to 10°F by shading homes and streets and lowering the temperature of urban “heat islands.”
  • A mature acre of trees absorbs as much CO2 as you make driving your car 26,000 miles.

The entire city of Jamestown covers about 5,800 acres (about 9 mi2). That sounds like a lot, but Jamestown isn’t all trees. That means Jamestown’s 500 acres of parkland and an urban forest of more than 10,000 trees are working very hard for us. Do the arithmetic.

Isn’t it about time to thank them? And while we’re at it, let’s thank our Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation for taking care of our green spaces, our forested woods, and downtown beautification.

Green really is beautiful, Kermit, so enjoy this year’s GreenUp. And as always, enjoy the read right here in your very own Jamestown Gazette.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.