Kestrel Reads Book Discussion: Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard



Kestrel Land Trust headquarters (37 Bay Road, Amherst, MA 01002, Amherst MA)

**Kestrel** **Reads** is a quarterly discussion group to help you delve deeper into books pertaining to nature, environmental issues, and people’s relationship to the land. For our Spring nonfiction selection, we’ll discuss ***Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest***. This grand prize winner of the 2021 Banff Mountain Book Competition shows that a forest is not a mere collection of individual trees competing for light and nutrients, but rather a sentient, interacting community.

Author **Suzanne Simard, Ph.D.**, professor of forest ecology at University of British Columbia and former research scientist at British Columbia Ministry of Forests, has spent decades researching forest dynamics. She discovered what was known to Indigenous cultures - that trees are connected to one another through vast and complex underground fungal root systems known as mycorrhizal networks. Her research also revealed how ancient hubs in forest communities - what she calls Mother Trees - connect and sustain others around them and thereby play a crucial role in a given forest’s resilience and vitality.

Like so many of the arts, the written word has the power to inform but also to reach the heart. Book clubs expand on this experience by providing a common, respectful, creative space to listen and be heard, as well as to amiably disagree. Book lovers who share and explore ideas with each other become better readers, writers, and collaborators. Unpacking a good book deepens and enriches the story or content, giving you insights you’ll carry into the next read, creative endeavor, or conversation.

Kestrel member **Cheri LeBlond** will moderate. Cheri has moderated book clubs for almost 10 years. A former bookstore owner, she’s had the pleasure of exploring the joys and pitfalls of storytelling with avid readers, dedicated writers, and persnickety publishers.