Mraz Leaves More Than A Song Behind in Hartford

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When most Grammy winning performers come to Connecticut for a concert, there are sound checks, rehearsals, and downtime to rest up for the show. Not Jason Mraz.

The singer-songwriter donned a tee shirt and cargo shorts, grabbed a pick and shovel and was part of the landscaping crowd at Burns Elementary School Saturday to the delight of fans, students and environmentalists.

“I don’t want to just come to a place, sing and leave without doing something for someone else,” said the award winning singer who performed at Comcast Theater later in the day. “I don’t want to just leave plastic and crap behind,” he said explaining his “Tree is a Four-Letter Word” program that is part of his tour.  “I consider each of my concert venues a temporary home and want to leave something good behind.”

Mraz ended up planting trees at the Frog Hollow elementary school thanks to a cooperative effort by WTIC radio, Billings Forge, the Knox Foundation and area friends. And it was quickly clear he was not just doing it for show.

The longtime environmentalist, who also owns his own avocado farm, chatted with organizers about their environmental efforts, grabbed a pick and shovel and went to work with crews including Squawn Lewis from the Knox Foundation, digging holes for six new red maple trees.

“We are trying to replace the 1,000 trees we lost in the storms last year around the city,” said Charmaine Craig, better known in Hartford as “The Tree Lady.”  “We are making progress.”

Volunteers also planted banks of flowers, raked up dozens of bags of garbage and dead plants and leaves, and along the way, had the chance to pose with Mraz for pictures.

“I just can’t believe he would give up an afternoon and help,” said Robin Melendez, a resident who stopped with others to watch the action. “That’s a pretty good guy.”

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One thought on “Mraz Leaves More Than A Song Behind in Hartford

  1. alison kaufman

    Wow, talk about eating my words. I do a radio show and while on air today I was playing another artist but spoke my opinion of Mraz, whom I really thought of as a poser. I am always such a postive person but for some reason he just seemed so fake to me. I am printing out this story and will be sharing it on air on my next show. Thanks for the lesson I needed to learn! :)

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