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Made in the shade 

Street Smarts

In the park, lining a neighborhood street or towering over your own backyard, trees — especially the aged, big ones — make for a friendly, affirming presence.

click to enlarge Mike Crowe

Mike Crowe of Security is retired Army.

How important are trees to the livability of a city? I love a tree-lined street. Huge, old-growth maples line the streets where I grew up in Pennsylvania.

When was the last time you climbed a tree? Not long ago. I like to go off-trail when I hike. Sometimes I'll climb a tree to get my bearings and see where I am.

Has a particular tree ever been special to you? The one I hid my beer under as an underage teenager.

Do we care well for our trees here? In Fountain, near where we live, they wrap the trees to keep beavers from stripping them raw.

click to enlarge James Garza

James Garza of the Fort Carson area is a store manager.

They give a homey feel to the city, especially if you came here from a small town. They signify health and natural beauty.

Do you climb trees now that you're an adult? When I'm out on the trails, I love to get off-trail, climb a tree and just sit in it a while, listening to nature, enjoying the peace.

Has a specific tree ever been important to you? There was a big pecan tree in front of my grandfather's house. Every year, my grandfather and I had a ball, picking pecans off it.

If you could plant a full-grown tree in your yard, what kind would you choose? A pecan tree. I'd love for my girls to have the experiences I did picking pecans with my grandfather.

Have you ever cut a tree down? Never. Not even a Christmas tree.

click to enlarge Randy Hodur

Randy Hodur of downtown is a yoga teacher and juice bar employee.

Did you climb trees as a kid? Tree climbing is an innate source of joy, fun and challenge for any kid anywhere.

When did you last climb one? A month ago. It just looked like I was supposed to climb it. I also climbed one a couple months back during a big snowstorm in Crystal Park.

Has a specific tree ever been special to you? Growing up in Chicago, some weeping willows formed a giant organic umbrella that I could hide inside to get away from things for a while.

If you could plant a full-grown tree in your yard, what kind? A bodhi tree to sit under and meditate, like the Buddha.

Have you ever cut a tree down? I had to when I worked as a landscaper for three years. We planted a lot more trees than we cut down, though.

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