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“I am a tree hugger,” confesses Beliefnet’s Kirsten Jackson. “I’ve never understood why some people find that offensive. Truly, if someone liking trees challenges your political stance, you may be taking your politics a bit too far.”

“I celebrate that citizens and firefighters in Rockport, Texas. share my passion,” she shares in today’s column:

Right outside the town there stands a 1,000-year-old (yes, you read that correctly!) live oak tree which has been dubbed “The Big Tree.” It has–literally–stood the test of time and survived countless hurricanes.

This summer’s drought, however, would have done it in if it not for kind volunteer firefighters who turned their fire hoses on the tree roots and drenched it with 11,000 gallons of water–enough to simulate 1/2 inch of rain.

If it doesn’t rain soon, firefighters will continue to water it every 10-14 days. Their thought is “droughts will come and go…but this tree stays put. After all, its roots clearly hold much more than earth in place: a sense of pride in the community, too.”

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