A Tree-Filled Celebration to Close the Year

What’s better than great company, hot cocoa, fresh air, and the scent of evergreen trees?

On a lovely December Sunday, Corazón Latino closed out 2018 with an informal event with our friends and familia. The same folks who’ve been with us since Descubre el Bosque (part 1) in Cheverly, MD came out to celebrate the season.

The temperature outside was a balmy 60 degrees as we gathered beneath the park pavilion. The team had stoked a cozy fire in the fireplace - yes, there was an outdoor fireplace - and carefully placed a selection of freshly-cut holiday trees against the walls. Families chatted away while the team discussed the day’s activities: bilingual forest bathing, snacks, and then closing the day out with a tree planting.

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Our friends at the U.S. Forest Service led a relaxing walk through the forest while half of our team stayed behind to dig some holes in anticipation of the tree planting. One family arrived a little later, and walked over to where we were digging. The kids were very excited to get dirty - as we were arms deep in dirt and clay, we actually stumbled upon some dormant cicadas! We were sure to document our observation using the citizen science app, iNaturalist, and share our discovery with biologists around the country.

The forest bathing participants returned shortly after we’d finished digging, at which point we all returned to the pavillion for homemade tamales, courtesy of our champion families; hot chocolate, champurrado (a Mexican chocolate drink made with corn flour), tacos dorados, and music. We talked about our experiences together over the last year, and enjoyed the opportunity to close out the year as it had begun - at the park with great company.

Families picked out trees and loaded them into their cars. Some people had to leave, but those who stayed were able to plant a few trees. We truly couldn’t think of a better way to close out Corazon Latino’s 2018 activities than with trees and familia.

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