Baum Verde, advocate for green living, human shelter, 89

Baum Verde, also known as "BV", philosopher, mother, proponent for green living, and local human shelter advocate, died May 21. She was 89. BV's life was cut short at the hands of an arborist's chain saw to make room for the Barton Place Condominiums.

BV was born in 1919, the same year the Texas Legislature made the pecan the State Tree. Governor James Hogg, who was instrumental in getting the State Tree status approved, requested that one be planted at his gravesite. In fact one of BV's cousins lives just a few feet from where he is buried.

BV had an illustrious family lineage. Her great great great great grandmother provided pecans to a group of Native Americans that lived on them almost exclusively for two months out of the year. BV's great great great cousin two times removed was transplanted to Monticello by Thomas Jefferson. And her nephew was moved to Mount Vernon at the request of George Washington.

DATELINE AUSTIN, 1983 – The Austin City Council today passed one of the most progressive tree ordinances in the country. The Tree and Natural Area Protection Ordinance is being hailed as a major step forward in the preservation of Austin's urban forest.

BV's final days were filled with sorrow as she watched her human neighbors being forced to evacuate. Then she had to endure the sight of her friends and family cut to the ground and finally run through the shredder. BV was preceded in death by both of her children, daughter Dessie (60) by 50 hours and son Woody (57) by 22 hours both residents of Shady Grove. 2 hours after BV passed, brother Bob (106) died in a head on collision with the same development forces that claimed his family.

DATELINE AUSTIN, 2001. The City of Austin today passed the Heat Island Mitigation resolution. The resolution cites a 1997 study by American Forests demonstrating that tree canopy could reduce urban temperatures by 9 degrees Fahrenheit. In a call to action, city officials will study the fiscal impact of implementing a Heat Island Mitigation plan with estimated savings of $200 million in costs related to storm-water runoff and air pollution.

BV is survived by Sister Becky (78) of Pecan Grove, sister Janis of Mobile Manor (52), and brother Sidney (114) in the protected enclave of Zilker Park.

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