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5 Steps to a Community Forest Project
By: Admin    January 30 2017 , 03:11 pm
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Category: Plant Care , Community

Leo Tolstoy wrote, “All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.”  The tree encapsulates these words of Tolstoy as sunlight weaves through its leaves while still giving shade to the weary field laborer. But the tree does more than just add to the aesthetic value of the earth. Trees enhance the environment by absorbing excess carbon dioxide and releasing it back into the atmosphere as oxygen. One acre of grown trees supplies a sufficient annual amount of oxygen for eighteen people.  In addition to keeping the air clean, trees also conserve energy and water by shading houses to reduce the use of air conditioners and by trapping moisture in the ground.  By initiating a community forestry project, you can sow seeds of community while reaping the benefits of helping Mother Nature contribute beauty and oxygen to the earth. Follow these five simple steps to see how you can impact the ecological and sociological climate of your neighborhood.

Step 1: Know Your Resources

Building a community forestry project takes more than just planting seeds and occasionally watering them: it involves knowledge, hard work, and cooperation. Thankfully there are many organizations already working hard to save the planet by planting trees.  For instance the Arbor Day Foundation, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and the International Society for Arboriculture (ISA) are organizations dedicated to preserving the earth.  Explore their websites for information on arboriculture.  Also, if you are going to join the tree world, then remember to celebrate National Arbor Day on the last Friday of April.

Step 2: Gather Volunteers

Believe it or not, you need people to build a community forestry project.  To get others involved, start with a clear mission statement about why you want to begin this project and how you plan to execute it.  Ask those you know will want to join in such a project and then branch out to schools, community centers, and environmental groups.  You will need a location to meet regularly in order to discuss the project and you might even considering hiring a certified arborist through the ISA to direct the project. 

Step 3:  Donations and Locations

Now that a workforce is in place the next step is securing funds and a location for the project.  This is where knowing your mission and having a solid group of volunteers comes into play.  Assign people to different tasks: maybe have a fundraising team find benefactors for the project.   While the average cost to plant a tree is about one dollar, other costs include clearing the space for the project and purchasing tools and mulch.  Have another team seek out someone to donate space for the project. Centers of communities like a school, church, or public park are generally good locations.   

Step 4: Picking the Best Trees

With funds and a location in hand, move on to thinking of the best kinds of trees to plant in your area.  For instance, if you live in sunny Florida, perhaps palm trees would be best, but if you live in Washington, maybe a pine tree would be most suitable.  Trees live for a long time and some take more maintenance than others, so make sure to do your research.

Step 5: Plant and Let Others Know

Gather your volunteers on site and clear the ground of weeds and trash, then get planting! Make an event out of it by putting up signs and posting pictures on social media to inform the community of this great initiative.  Even get kids involved by letting them spread mulch, or serve water and snacks to the volunteers.  Ensure that each volunteer knows what to do as well as the science behind planting trees.  Once the trees are planted organize a system of watering and maintenance.  Then, sit back and enjoy the good work you and the community have done for the earth. As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”


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Tag: trees , wood , regions , social