Godless Green-thumbs: Local secular group lends a hand to make Fredericksburg…”Green without God”?

Saturday, 20 April, was a great day for any outdoor activity, save perhaps winter sports and ice fishing.  The rapids on the Rappahannock were brisk, the sun was bright and warm, the breeze relaxing.  At 9:00 AM a line of cars and pickups parked along Riverside Drive near Woodford Street.  Occupants climbed out, donned red vests and armed themselves with shovels, rakes and gloves.  Members of the Fredericksburg Coalition of Reason (FredCoR) joined forces with Tree Fredericksburg, the Fredericksburg Clean and Green Commission and the Fredericksburg Department of Public works and other volunteers.  Their mission:  plant trees along the new path on Riverside Drive.

In all, approximately 45 trees were in the ground before noon.   Teams of three or four would dig holes approximately three feet wide and eighteen inches deep, prep the root ball on a crepe myrtle or cherry tree, drop it in the ground and tamp it into place.  Five teams would repeat the process until all the trees were in the ground. 

Matt Jordan, FredCoR media rep, recommends this project to anyone who wants to volunteer, as many community groups have.  “I was surprised how much I enjoyed it”, Matt said.  “I only came out of a sense team spirit.  But it was an excellent morning.  I will do it again!”   An undated event to plant trees is already posted on Jordan’s Conservative Skeptics meet up site waiting for the next invitation.   The organizer of the Skeptics Activities Group, who goes by the name of Albert, said that planting trees was “a fun way to beautify the community.”  Pat Chen, member of Fredericksburg Secular Humanists, said, "I feel we were contributing to the beauty of a city trail my husband and I use.  The crepe myrtles will be beautiful when they are in bloom." 
These were common sentiments among all the participants.  The benefit to the community seems to make it that much nicer.  These trees will grow to provide shade and a nice view for the walkway, do their part to “green up” the town and as low growers, won’t tangle in the overhead wires.  
This is only one of many projects citizens of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania can get involved in to enliven their community.   From theater to festivals to beautification projects, there is always something to do.  By supporting and participating in these activities, you get to see the fruits of your labor again and again.

FredCoR is proud to be a small part of this community commitment to improve our town.  In addition to the three groups mentioned above, FredCoR is home to Parenting Beyond Belief, Fredericksburg Skeptics and Reading Skeptically (all can be found through our website, www.FredericksburgCoR.org, or on meetup.com).  FredCoR is busily proving a growing conviction that you actually can be good without god.