What is an Urban Forest Dweller?

March 9, 2022 · 3 minute read
What is an Urban Forest Dweller?

By Scott Turner

Amy grew up on Franklin Street in the museum district. She and her little friends spent their days spinning up and down city sidewalks on bikes and trikes and interacting with neighbors. The Franklin Street 4th of July party was legendary. Egg tosses, big wheel races, parades of children. Amy grew up in a place of human assembly, where houses were separated only by narrow walkways, and front porches were living rooms.

I grew up in Bon Air, where a walk to a neighbor’s house most likely meant zigs and zags through the trunks of trees. I loved the trees and often chose their society over that of the children in the houses. A 15-minute walk carried me past the houses and into a wild and wooded area of ravines and hills. Two of the hills were separated by a creek that fell from Archer Spring over gentle rapids and small waterfalls to join Winston Lake. Alone at Winston Lake and surrounded by trees, I lived out every adventurous fantasy that came to mind.

Amy grew up loving the city, and I grew up loving the woods, yet we both grew up inside the city limits of Richmond, Va. We met somewhere between sidewalk and woods in our teenage years, and when the time came for marriage and family it was only natural for us to build a home in the very heart of the city that gives us both what we love. 

I would learn to appreciate the culture and history that flourish in places where humans assemble. Amy would learn to value a day on the rocks and the reflection of fireworks from the surface of the James. By raising our two daughters as Urban Forest Dwellers, we would both learn to love everything that a city of culture and nature does to inspire and nourish the growth of the next generation. 

This week Truetimber celebrates 2 years of sharing our appreciation of Richmond and its nature in our weekly newsletter and blog “Urban Forest Dweller.” I have always believed that Richmond has a wonderful opportunity to show the world what it looks like when the best of town and the best of country are all knitted together in one place. And with the ever-present pressures of development, it will be important that we maintain strong advocacy for nature’s place in our developing world.

At Truetimber we know that much of what gives Richmond its character is the trees, so we have been relishing the opportunity to share our passion and knowledge while helping you maximize the enjoyment and minimize the risk of living amongst trees.     

Thank you so much for reading along and sharing with us your own appreciation for the great Richmond outdoors. And just in case you’re still not sure what an Urban Forest Dweller is, I can give you a sampling of some of the many definitions.

You are a true Urban Forest Dweller if .  .  .

  • You think the best relief from a hard day at the office is a hard slab of river granite.
  • You think a train will never look as beautiful as it looks going over a river on a tall bridge of arches.
  • You can find a way to transport a boat or bike with any kind of vehicle.
  • You like to hit a good restaurant or brewery after paddling the river or cycling the forest trails.
  • You are as fascinated with human nature as you are with Mother Nature, and like to see their respective museums of fine art placed side by side.
  • You are as entertained by the motion and song of nature as you are by the motion and song of humans, and like to see their respective theaters placed side by side.    
  • You think solitude and assembly are the salt and pepper of life, and best enjoyed in equal portions.
  • You have a Richmond area park or cemetery in one of your “friend” groups.
  • You are still reading this right now.

 Happy Spring to you all, and I hope to see you out there soon!