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Date:
June 22, 2022
Time:
6:00 PM
Location:
Leake Community Room
Address:
250 First St
Woodland, CA 95695
Book Cover Gertrude's Oaks
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Author Talk with David Wilkinson- "Gertrude's Oaks"

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Woodland Author David Wilkinson presents “Gertrude’s Oaks”, June 22 at 6 PM at the Leake Room, Woodland Public Library The Woodland author brings to life this dynamic history while introducing readers to several notable historical figures in Woodland’s formative years whose pens forced the community to consider its destructive tendencies towards its oak tree heritage. David will discuss the dynamic Leake family, who ran the Daily Democrat for three generations and used their editorial pulpit to exhort the community to protect Woodland’s tree heritage. David will also touch on the several women leaders and women’s clubs, active during the Progressive Era, which were instrumental in developing Woodland’s first municipal park and the Woodland Public Library, while advocating for tree protection and organizing tree plantings. Learn the story of the century-old palms surrounding the library and planted on its grounds.

Woodland Author David Wilkinson presents “Gertrude’s Oaks”, June 22 at 6 PM at the Leake Room, Woodland Public Library 

 

The young pioneer schoolteacher, Gertrude Swain Freeman, gave Woodland its name in 1861 when her husband, Frank Freeman, founded the small town carved out of a valley oak grove. Gertrude loved the trees and rural surroundings, but to her dismay many of the native valley oaks disappeared during her lifetime, a trend that continued in the modern era. Gertrude’s Oaks is David Wilkinson’s new deeply researched book, the latest in a series he has penned about Woodland’s remarkable cultural history. This book traces Woodland’s relationship with its trees spanning three centuries. 

 

The Woodland author brings to life this dynamic history while introducing readers to several notable historical figures in Woodland’s formative years whose pens forced the community to consider its destructive tendencies towards its oak tree heritage. David will discuss the dynamic Leake family, who ran the Daily Democrat for three generations and used their editorial pulpit to exhort the community to protect Woodland’s tree heritage. David will also touch on the several women leaders and women’s clubs, active during the Progressive Era, which were instrumental in developing Woodland’s first municipal park and the Woodland Public Library, while advocating for tree protection and organizing tree plantings. Learn the story of the century-old palms surrounding the library and planted on its grounds. 

Layered with literary history, Gertrude’s Oaks shows how imaginative poets kindled California’s first Arbor Day in 1886 in San Francisco, influencing other cities like Woodland to do the same. California poets, whose verse deepens our perception about the essential worth of trees, are celebrated throughout the book. In the modern era, the author explains the relevance of Woodland’s “Climate Action Plan” to the growth of its urban forest shade canopy and how Woodland’s “Urban Forest Master Plan” will guide urban forestry in the future. 

 

Wilkinson questions whether removing Woodland’s unprotected native oaks and large trees is morally justifiable in the modern era, faced as humanity is with the critical challenges of global warming. On a buoyant note Gertrude’s Oaks reveals how California communities, including Woodland are “re-oaking” landscapes once rich with valley oaks where open space allows, including new developments. Woodland’s new tree ordinance, in the making during the last three years with the assistance of the Woodland Tree Foundation, will also be discussed. 

 

The impassioned book contains over 200 archival and contemporary photographs spanning Woodland’s history, sourced from the Yolo County Archives and Yolo County History Museum collections and a variety of other sources.  David will show several of these photos during his presentation as he guides attendees through Woodland’s inspiring and, until now, untold story of its exceptional community forest. 

 

David will be signing books after the one-hour presentation. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

David Wilkinson is the author of a trilogy of books on Woodland’s cultural history, which include Crafting a Valley Jewel (architecture), Hollywood Comes to Woodland (movie theater history, which was influential in the successful campaign to save Woodland’s  historic State Theatre), and Gertrude’s Oaks.  He co-authored and edited the Explore Historic Woodland guidebook, recipient of the Governor’s Award by the State of California. David has served on Woodland’s Tree and Historic Preservation Commissions and on the board of the California Preservation Foundation. He is the co-founding president of the non-profit Woodland Tree Foundation. Since its formation in 2000, the Foundation has planted 6,000 trees in and around Woodland marshalling the energy of local volunteers. Professionally, David has enjoyed a long career as an economist and community development advocate with a focus on financing community facilities, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, and renewable energy. 

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