The trees are part of a stand of more than 21,000 acres of trees which had been planted in a park near Beijing. Financial difficulties had prevented the trees feom getting care they needed. To encourage the trees to grow quickly and become healthy, the Friends of Nature in Beijing decided to recruit volunteers to tend the trees. The group knew that there were schoolchildren interested in volunteering, but they needed to buy tools. So they worked through a local partner to place a proposal on the Virtual Foundation.
Esther Schmidt, a long-time volunteer citizen tree planter and pruner in New York City, funded the proposal. She has exchanged correspondence with the project organizers, and has received news clippings and photographs. One of the photographs (above) shows children working on the trees with the new tools.