Giant Redwoods Honor Earth's Largest Mammal

Dec 30, 2013

 Blue whales were on the brink of extinction in 1978, when organizations that included Oregonians to Protect Whales and Greenpeace sponsored an Oregon initiative to prevent state and local governments from buying products from whaling nations.

 To publicize their petition drive, the conservationists offered to plant a memorial grove of redwood trees, the largest plants on earth, to honor the blue whale, the largest animal on earth. The Medford City Council accepted the offer. The grove was planted at a ceremony held June 3, 1978, at the corner of West McAndrews Road and Columbus Avenue.  The public viewed three films about whales at the City Hall chambers and Jackson House across the street from the new trees, and the chairman of the Medford Parks and Recreation Commission, Mary Greenman, accepted the trees on behalf of the city. The coordinator of Oregonians to Protect Whales, Michael Gannon, spoke on the importance of helping the whales. Although the initiative failed to gather enough signatures to be placed on the ballot, no blue whale has been purposely killed since 1978 and the population has stabilized. The redwood trees, in a grove mixed with pines, are nearly 50 feet tall today.
    Source: Memorial Grove to be Planted." Mail Tribune 31 May 1978 [Medford Oregon] . Print. List of Oregon Ballot Measures. Wikipedia, 17 Oct. 2013. Web. 9 Nov. 2013.