Basically stated, Treemail is an initiative taken in Melbourne, Australia which has given trees around the city there own personal email address and biography. The goal of the project was for the city to try manage the urban forest decline and raise awareness for the importance of trees, but also making it a bit of a fun subject, trees with an email? The project initially started when a large amount of trees around the country and city were becoming unhealthy/ at risk of dying. The country was at risk of losing 50% of these beautiful trees and this would of resulted in a very different situation for Australia and Melbourne.
Treemail was approached by mapping out all the trees around Melbourne, keeping in mind the different shapes, sizes and amount of each tree species. Each tree was then given a personal email address and a small biography about itself. The population of Melbourne could then get more involved with their trees by finding out different kinds of information about them, and being able to mail the tree.
The project has received great feedback with an estimate of around 3,000 emails being sent in around a 2 year time period. Emails not only from residents in Melbourne, but also from people living in totally different countries. The emails would generally consist of appreciation messages or warning messages (f.e. the tree needs attention as it looks unhealthy).
Trees can be considered really great street furniture, not only do they decorate our spaces beautifully, they also participate in keeping our environment clean, diverse and now fun!
Many people might first think that giving a tree an email address is crazy (myself included), but after evaluating the outcomes of such a simple measure it became clear that it is actually a really fun, different and, most importantly, an effective measure. A really original way of involving a population with their local trees!
Trees already provide a great deal to our society, and now they have the opportunity of providing an interactive population by letting them get more involved and aware of the trees.
Transformational Measures and Activities
Trees now have email addresses. So anything concerning a specific tree can be easily conveyed by sending an email. For example if a tree looks sick/ unhealthy, someone can pick up this information and immediately raise the awareness this by simply sending an email.
Implementing the emails can be an easy job if all the information of the trees is available. A simple virtual network just needs to be set up and maintained.
Results of the project are mainly for the appreciation of the trees. The trees are better taken care of and better kept in mind. Being more involved in the everyday happenings of the population, other than just being grounded.
On top of this a new interactivity or program has started. People being involved with their surrounding trees. Possibly starting new networks with other 'tree huggers'.
Challenges, Opportunities and Transferability
This kind of a project should be able to be transferred easily to other cities and countries. A virtual network however must be able to be connected.
An opportunity is that more people are able to get involved with their local trees.
More about Treemail can be found at: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33560182