Monday, December 11, 2006

Trees for the Future

Local children working to make their village a better place to live:

A denuded hillside in Central America:


If you have any interest working/supporting an organization the does reforestation work let me suggest Trees for the Future. I met Dave Deppner several years ago and immediately liked the man. he is honest, sincere, and dedicated, very dedicated. Dave is a strong believer in sustainable agroforestry, from the website:

Tree Planting: We help people plant multi-purpose, fast-growing, ecologically appropriate tree species. By choosing species tailored to the needs of the communities we serve, we create agroforestry systems that rebuild worn soils, reduce erosion, replenish groundwater aquifers and create microclimate conditions that encourage the return of indigenous species.

Agroforestry Training: We have developed a long-distance agroforestry training program that is being used to train community leaders worldwide in sustainable agroforestry practices. The curriculum covers agroforestry techniques, appropriate species, nursery management, livestock management, pest control, and more. Successful completion of an exam is required to graduate. To learn more, click here.

The "Forest Garden": The forest garden is a multi-layered agroforestry system that strives to realize the diversity and productivity of a natural forest with species of plants and animals that are useful to humans. In many cases, we see spectacular harvests from this combination of trees and cash crops. Integrating more crops on one piece of land yields greater total production, reduced incidence of insects and other pests, increased quality of food produced, and lowered damage from storms and soil erosion.

More stripped rainforest:


What's unique about Dave and Trees for the Future is how they spend the money. Dave goes right to the villages and the local leaders. His is truly work at the grass roots level. To educate, train, motivate the locals to become stewards of their land to begin the recovery in the area surrounding their local villages.

Too often the money starts at the top and works its way down through the levels, and in these 3rd World countries there are a lot of levels and a lot of interests, if you know what I mean. Dave has always believed it is better to go right to the people whose lives and villages are at stake.

Leucaena tree project. Leucaena benefits. The Moringa oleifera tree "Horse Radish tree". These are 2 of the several trees used to reclaim the land. Erosion control, feed for the live stock, compost materials, fuel and building materials are factors when considering which trees to use.

The other challenge is getting local farmers to try something different. The peer pressure is great amongst most locals to not change, to do it the same way its always been done. To start anew, to become terrace farmers, and sustainable aware is tough. But Dave and his volunteers keep plugging along, trying to change one farmer on village at a time.

If you're looking for a cause/group to donate time or money, let me again suggest Trees for the Future.

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4 comments:

The County Clerk said...

Thanks for putting this up.

Rick Anderson said...

Appreciate it, and Dave would appreciate any and all help.

Joan said...

I saw a photo in the SF Chronicle today showing Palestinians planting 32 olive trees in memory of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. I have an account here, but my blog is over at Live Journal. I'm posting the link to Trees for the Future suggesting that a donation is one way to make a positive response. Plus National Arbor Day is next Friday.

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