ForestPlanet 2019 Annual Summary
On the cusp of our third anniversary, we’re happy to report that 2019 was an excellent year for ForestPlanet. More than 80,000 trees were planted with our tree planting partners, and we established great relationships with multiple organizations what will result in tens of thousands of trees getting planted in the years to come. We thank all the individuals who donated directly to our organization, attended an event, or supported one or more of our corporate partners. This is a group effort, designed as such from the outset, and it is very encouraging to be at the focal point of so much enthusiastic support.
Highlights from the year include:
- A successful Washington, DC encore screening of the award-winning film ‘Normal is Over’
- Many successful networking and information-table sessions, with thanks to New Morning Farm, Central Farm Markets, the San Jose Giants, the Washington Business Journal, and Patagonia stores around the country
- Our first hands-on Educational Program with young students here in the United States was also a big success, one that we hope to repeat often in the coming years
- We held a successful Spring fundraising campaign, wonderfully boosted by matching donations from kind citizens Mark Walsh and other generous individuals
- We had a great time being part of the American Ultimate Disc League’s championship weekend, where with support from Arista Networks they took the lead in the plant-a-tree-with-that movement that we hope other sports leagues and entertainment events will emulate.
Of course, none of this is possible without the cooperation and support from our tree planting partners. We work only with well-established and reputable organizations who have years of hands-on experience planting many millions of trees in the developing world. These areas are where the trees are needed most and where a dollar goes very far. That said, trees planted anywhere help everyone everywhere, and while the immediate benefits may be local, the entire planet is better off as a result of these large scale reforestation projects.
Getting Trees Planted
The first tree planting partner for ForestPlanet was Eden Projects, and we helped plant more than 40,000 trees with this organization in our launch year of 2018. We have every intention of continuing to support their successful, and critically important, mangrove restoration project in Madagascar in the coming years.
For 2019 we worked with a new in-country tree planting partner: the Friends of Usambara Society (FoU), located in the Usambara mountain region of northeastern Tanzania. This is a well-established and reputable organization, and they welcome the support that ForestPlanet has channeled to their efforts to date. FoU has a great program, and has established an incredible nursery system that supports up to 15 million tree seedlings at any given time. They employ over 100 people in the local community, mostly women, and pay a living wage for the region.
FoU also has an educational program designed to foster an understanding of the ecological and economic value of trees. They conduct classroom and practical sessions on tree nursery preparation and management, as well as address the importance of local biodiversity. When it’s time to out-plant seedlings from the nurseries into the designated locations, FoU involves the local students and villagers to ensure that everyone has a stake in the success of the project.
Support from ForestPlanet will be directed towards the reforestation efforts in the Bongo Malibwi and Mvumoi Mhezi areas of the Usambara mountain region. These areas have experienced significant land degradation in recent years due to increased deforestation, inappropriate farming practices, and livestock overgrazing.
Per the photo, soil erosion is evident in many parts of the Usambara region where this de-vegetation has occurred. Rapid population growth has also increased the demand for more cleared land in order to satisfy increased demand for food, fuel, and grazing areas.
One additional consequence of deforestation is that the local wells are starting to run dry, since the trees no longer direct/channel water into the wells during the rainy season (see our previous Water Cycle post). Due to deforestation, about 10,000 people are starting to experience water scarcities.
ForestPlanet is helping to plant the trees that will address these issues. The FoU technicians have devised site-specific re-planting programs targeting these and other problems. The tree species that will be used are all native to the region, and include: bell bean, croton, strangler fig, avocado, gum tree, eucalyptus, and silk oak.
We look forward to keeping everyone posted with regards to the progress in these regions in the months and years to come.
Business Partners in 2019
A key part of our organization’s model is to work with reputable businesses who wish to enhance or differentiate their brands while helping to bring about real and positive global changes. Every action and transaction has a footprint, it’s unavoidable. These businesses have made a commitment to help balance things out in a simple and easily communicated manner, and we thank them very much for their support in 2019: The American Ultimate Disc League, Arista Networks, Ecoprint, Swarmbustin’ Honey, Magical Journeys Beyond, BankPurely, 5D Vision, Measured Results Marketing, DC Breeze, Max & Steven’s, Sonia Ntuk State Farm Agency, Octopus, AutoBeGreen, Raleigh Flyers, Kuppo, 4ourclimate, TEDxBethesda, TEDxRiverton, TEDxColumbusCircle, and the Tampa Bay Cannons.
We have a number of new business partners already committed to supporting our reforestation projects in 2020, including: Natix, InRemember, Indianapolis AlleyCats, Mundane Creations, and One Donation. More information on these and other excellent companies will be published in the coming weeks and months. For businesses that might be interested in being part of our community, a complete discussion can be found here.
We’re glad of what’s been accomplished so far with the help of so many different people and organizations. Here’s wishing everyone a safe, productive, and enjoyable 2020, and we hope see everyone again soon enough.
PLANT TREES, PLANT HOPE