519 East Sheridan Street, PO Box 609 • Eagle River, Wisconsin 54521 • (715) 479-6456
Some of you may know that I was a Trees For Tomorrow student in the 90s, an education intern in 2000, full-time educator from 2001-2013, operations manager from 2014-2021, and am currently serving as the 10th executive director. You probably do not know that I recently had my 45th birthday and realized I have been at Trees For Tomorrow for half of my life! I started in August of 2000 – a little more than 22 ½ years ago! Trees For Tomorrow is my second home and my second family.
All this time at Trees For Tomorrow (TFT) gets me thinking back to the start of the organization and the Taylor family. Mully Taylor, TFT’s first executive director, was a newspaper man from the Merrill Daily Herald and integral in the creation of Trees For Tomorrow, which led to millions of trees planted, millions of acres of forest managed, and countless students, teachers, and community members educated on sustainable management of natural resources over the last 80 years. I recently had a meeting in Merrill, Wisconsin and visited 120 S. Mill Street, the site of the original office of Trees For Tomorrow. While the original office is not there anymore, I stood at the corner and reflected on what our founding board of directors and Mully were envisioning back in 1944. I felt blessed to look around and take in the view they would have seen on a daily basis as they mapped out the future of Trees For Tomorrow, the future of the tree planting industry, and the future of environmental science education. Would they have thought we would still be carrying on their legacy in 2023? I hope so! They had quite the vision back then!
While in Merrill, I also went to visit the Taylor Memorial Shelter House located at Council Grounds State Park just outside of Merrill. There was a beautiful plaque in honor of Mully and his wife, Billie affixed to a large picnic shelter overlooking the river. On my way from town to the park, I drove on Taylor Street and had to assume that was named after Mully Taylor as well. What a great opportunity for me to nerd out on Trees For Tomorrow history.
Since visiting Merrill, I recently reconnected with several of the Taylor family members. It is so interesting to hear stories of Mully’s children and grandchildren and their time spent at Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River. Some of their shared memories include stealing cookies from “Big John,” climbing newly planted trees, helping their Mom cut paper for notes, and simply being proud members of the Taylor family as everyone in the area knew Mully.
As I sit here in my office in the Mully Taylor Education Hall, I am honored to carry on the legacy of all the directors who came before me, but most importantly the legacy of Mully Taylor. If you have any stories to share of Mully Taylor, the Taylor family, or the early years at Trees For Tomorrow, please do share! We recently began partnering with the Forest History Association of Wisconsin to help them gather more information on Mully Taylor, a 1985 inductee in the Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame. Stories of the early years not only full fill my interest in Trees For Tomorrow history, it might also be shared with students and other people interested in exploring more about Wisconsin’s key players in conservation and forest efforts. We are proud that one of those key players was our very first executive director, Mully Taylor.
Trees For Tomorrow’s campus, located in Eagle River, Wisconsin, includes National Forest property under permit from the USDA Forest Service. Private property owned by Trees For Tomorrow (TFT), the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and Tara Lila LLC are also utilized for education and outreach purposes.
Trees For Tomorrow is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
519 East Sheridan Street, PO Box 609
Eagle River Wisconsin 54521
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