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Celebration: Children and Trees (1970)

Fort Davis National Historical Site

Sound | 1970

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  •  Title Card: Children and Trees 
  •  Children find solace in the forest 
  •  Bulldozers arrive at the 150-year-old oak tree 
  •  All of the trees are gone 
  •  The children arrive to find their beloved park demolished 
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Children and Trees is a response of a young man named Philip Vaughan to the sudden deforestation of a beloved wooded park in Bettendorf, Iowa. At 17 years old, Vaughan produced, directed, and narrated the film with the assistance of the Conservation Foundation and the Bureau of Public Roads. He is now an environmental filmmaker and photographer, traveling across the United States and abroad. The film begins with images of children experiencing the joys of nature, where they can learn, play, and be themselves. Then one day, they arrive at the spot to find the park completely leveled. Where a 150-year old oak tree once stood is now a dirt plot. The children mourn the loss of their forest as Vaughan pleads with the viewer to “be men- not mere extensions of technology.”