Dig This.

August 27, 2012

TreeIsAFourLetterWord Update. Images by Jen Rosenstein.



When I emailed my team earlier this year about planting trees, I was thinking about fresh air. What I never anticipated were the sighs of relief and deep breaths of gratitude I’d experience from communities around the country who’d greatly benefit not only from the trees, but from the attention they’d receive from the project. What began as a simple tree planting mission has, like a tree itself, grown new branches to nurture and support life far beyond my wildest dreams.


Last Saturday, on a hot and sticky day in Hartford Connecticut, with citizens from Frog Hollow, Knox Parks, Billings Forge and all the wonderful volunteers from Reverb and 96.5 TIC, we transformed the campus of Burns School for Latino Studies just in time for it’s reopening this week.



With a little love, sweat, a few tears, and a sweet blister accrued from my shovel, a small group of extraordinary humans cut back weeds and overgrown trees from the face of the school to let light into windows and reveal the building’s beautiful brick facade, while some collected trash, including glass and needles from the school’s neglected back yard. Overall 6 new large Maple trees were planted as well as dozens of perennials to welcome new students and families. Knox Parks, a passionate tree group in Connecticut was so moved by the project, they wish to keep the Burn’s School playground, which still lacks shade, in their plans for more trees in the future.


And if that wasn’t enough, the city mayor stopped by to see what all the excitement was about. He visited the sight inspired to help improve more than just the schoolyard. I left wondering if that would have happened were it not for our effort to plant trees.


The school’s new principal worked alongside all the volunteers all day, filthy with dirt, unaffected by her sweaty brow and t-shirt, grateful for the turnout and all the attention. Usually in this area, I was told, even if there was a crime, they would get little coverage or support. But because we brought our light, cameras, and action, a positive difference was being made that would last well into the school year.


Why is it that so many schools get the short end of the stick?


Is it because we are all so anxious to get out into the world and make something of ourselves? Investing in our own businesses and futures, somewhat forgetting to look back and notice there’s always a generation behind us that counts on us to elevate their future too?


Whatever the case may be, I’m happy our little tree planting mission found it’s way to The Burns School in Frog Hollow and is having a greater effect on the planet and it’s people than just cleaner air. It seems as though we’re also clearing the air for minds to grow, communities to develop and ideas to unfold.


Thanks again to everyone for their hard work and generous energy. Especially to my sidekick Mona Tavakoli, who didn’t mind getting dirty on a show day.



Visit TreeIsAFourLetterWord.Org to learn more about our efforts and ways to contribute.

  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...

    Instagram: I had to actually listen to Michelle Obama’s speech before I commented. By the way, the junior Romney brigade was out in force. Or maybe it was the senior brigade dressed in sheep’s clothing…

    Anyway, Michelle Obama’s speech was spectacular, the fake rhetorical devices notwithstanding, like the fake stammering and the fake uncertainty of what she would say next. The woman doesn’t have an unsure bone in her body, not on this topic.

    For me, Barack Obama is the only choice. I think Michelle Obama might give him a run for his money, though.

    Love to all, even the venomous among us

  • Avatar of GoodGoodMusic
    GoodGoodMusic said ...


  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...

    “Today I welded the leg back on a horse. They used to shoot ‘em.” I bet that was his favorite line! How many times did you hear that one?

    It’s heart-warming to see that you know how to appreciate the people who made you who you are: Mom, Dad, Granny, Granddad, for better or worse, when they were being too serious to take or just hamming it up.

    What a card!


  • Avatar of jivanti
    jivanti said ...

    The world needs more people like you. How I wish artists in my country would do the same. Over here, corruption clears rainforests. How sad. Thank you for making great music and being a greater person in reality. It always moves me. Every time I come here to read something. Thank you Jason. :)

  • Avatar of Graceferris777

    Your an amazing person with a great heart, I’m so inspired by you, keep amazing the world!

  • Avatar of shorekimmy
    shorekimmy said ...

    Whoa… and tonight you are playing in Homdel, NJ, my high school graduation was held at that arts center. I think I’ll put on some red shoes and start clicking them!

  • Avatar of shorekimmy
    shorekimmy said ...

    I like when you use your power for good! I was just recently informed that a time capsule I was part of back in 1982 is due to be opened this year. With the help of Facebook, we have formed a little group from elementary school. Friends who still live in my hometown commented on how run down the old brick school is looking. You have inspired me to organize our group to give back to a place that gave us so much. Here we grow again!

  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...

    Boy, have I told you what a gorgeous DISTANCE you and Christina Perri share? Her voice is perfect for that song, and yours fills spaces no one even knew existed.


  • Avatar of Cathy777
    Cathy777 said ...


    I don’t know how you do all that you do! But God bless you for it. It is so inspiring to see someone faithfully walk the talk. Keep up the awesome work. What an impact you are making on our beautiful world and it’s precious people.

    Thank you also to Mona for the sweat equity and Jen for the great pics.

    Cathy Ruff

  • Avatar of Marleen73
    Marleen73 said ...

    Again.. Great initiative :D <3
    Lovely pictures too XD

    Question.. do you plant fruit-trees?
    That would work in several extra ways..

    from my side: still collecting and sharing all kinda seeds (tomatoes, zuchinni, apples, brambles, raspberries, etc etc). Good food is a right for all, I'd say!!

  • Avatar of didikini
    didikini said ...

    Hey, i’m your team and you didn’t e-mail me. Now what would you say about that? Am i or am i not ;P

    kisses and best all of it.. and some more on top ;)

  • Avatar of Telluselle
    Telluselle said ...

    There is something very pure about dirt… (soil) and the way it connect us with life, grounding and liberating. Everything we do have consequences, often ripples to more cause and effect and this is an awesome example of a positive ripple effect. I love that those kids finally got some positive attention. I’m sure Mother Earth is proud over her caretaker.

  • Avatar of crystale80
    crystale80 said ...

    I do know a single Artist for spreading so much generosity, of love and simple actions for a healthier future life for our childrens and it’s you, JASON.
    Deep respect and thank you all.

  • Avatar of squeaker
    squeaker said ...

    Love the idea! I wish every artist was like you…
    Nice cap btw. ;)
    reminds me of good old days and songs… :)

  • Avatar of gamachan
    gamachan said ...

    Fantastico! Bravo Jason :)

  • Avatar of lovePEAR
    lovePEAR said ...

    Ripples of Love ! so beautiful to witness!! Thank you for for sharing, you are all beaming awesomeness :)

  • Avatar of Peaceout
    Peaceout said ...

    Have to share, for the love of trees: http://www.lauraswork.com/treelove

  • Avatar of Peaceout
    Peaceout said ...

    It’s always so encouraging to see how our actions immediately affect others. Yay!!! The best is in giving to others in the first place… even if we don’t see the benefit right away it will absolutely create an effect, not only in our own hearts but in theirs and the world around us.

    My most favorite and happy causes are for the happiness of other living beings and our future generations. My heart sings every time I make one and I find myself overcoming and transforming my darkest experiences this way. It seems to be the key.

    I appreciate your efforts and am volunteering for Reverb to show my appreciation for you and what they do.

    Thank you!

  • Avatar of 4meclara
    4meclara said ...

    My respects to you all!

  • Avatar of mccownlee
    mccownlee said ...

    Trees….Gotta love em.

  • Avatar of mrazwordplay
    mrazwordplay said ...

    It’s very rewarding when your actions cause a chain reaction of positive change! Be the change!
    I want to get dirty with y’all in Vancouver! ;)

  • Avatar of costellocrew5
    costellocrew5 said ...

    Wow. So happy to read this. Hartford loved you Saturday night. You were amazing and so was your super band. And you left this city – and clearly this community – better than you found it. I keep visualizing what you are doing is recycling your gift. Corny, maybe. Or perhaps the gift you have is re-wrapped and shared in each community you visit with that neat wrapping paper with seeds embedded into the biodegradable paper all ready to throw into the dirt. It’s just all good. Thank you for being an amazing role model and using your super powers for good. xo, J

  • Avatar of mrazfan1031
    mrazfan1031 said ...

    Wow! That is absolutely awesome! Great and super job!! You are a generous person! You not only make an impact on people’s hearts with your music, you make a difference in our world. Thank you. From my heart.

  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...

    I’m beaming with pride for the lot of you! Beautiful people make beautiful things happen, and I’m not talking about your literally and figuratively hot bodies…

    Were you hoping to grow more if they planted you? My friend’s dog, may he rest in peace, used to dig a concave throne like that for himself in the backyard. Once, when I was doggie sitting, he dug a hole so deep, and his upper body was so strong, I couldn’t get him back out of the hole!


  • Avatar of Thinker
    Thinker said ...

    Great job! Love your commitment. You have a big loving heart for all the living on this planet. Keep sharing!
    Join also the loving people of Greenpeace, Sea Shephard, Peta, WWF and so on…, just a reminder!
    Big kiss