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Tree Planting in Tbilisi, Georgia: Ecological and Social Renewal

Region: Caucasus, Georgia
Author: Ecology and Tourism Association of Georgia, Besik Barkalaia
Consortium Member: Horizonti
Status: Needs Funding Budget: $1067 Collected: $500 Needs: $567
Goal: To replant trees around the Tbilisi Hippodrome, restoring the site to its prominence as a green recreation area within the city. Also, to show local citizens that environmental damage can be repaired by grassroots action.
Comment: Residents of Tbilisi had been cutting down trees in the winter for heat and cooking fuel, during Georgia's economic and energy crisis. Replanting trees is a positive ecological action, and an equally important social affirmation.
Donors: Manlius Pebble Hill Model United Nations Program, DeWitt, New York: September 2002 Conference


Project necessity

The Tbilisi Hippodrome is located in one of the central parts of Tbilisi City, Saburtalo. When the Hippodrome was built the surrounding territory was planted with young plants, which made the Hippodrome citizens' active recreation area. Due to the energy crisis, which started in Georgia in nineties, it made Tbilisi population to cut the trees and use them as woods for warming up their houses. The process took a long time and as a result both the young plants and the ones that were planted long time ago were fully destroyed. At this time, neither private citizens nor the government can pay enough attention to this problem to replant the cut areas. As such, Ecology and Tourism Association of Georgia considers addressing this problem by implementing this project vitally important in order to recover the green cover and reestablish the ecological harmony that existed before.

Project goals

The goal of the project is to support recovering of the destroyed areas of the Tbilisi Hippodrome to make it again the recreation and ecologically clean area.

Project Implementation and Timeline

Thirty students of Tbilisi State University -- members of Georgian Mountaineering Club as well as refugee students will take part in the tree-panting activities. In the preparing process the Association will purchase shovels and spades. The students will plant pine-trees. All the activities are coordinated and agreed with the administration of Hippodrome. The administration will assist the participants of tree-planting action with water supply. The media will highlight the action. The preparation period for the project is 6 days. During this period of time the Association will purchase 30 shovel/spades and 150 young fir plants. On the seventh day students will make holes for trees and the Association will bring the plants to the Hippodrome, where 30 students will be ready to get working. The administration of Hippodrome will take care of trees by watering young plants in the next few weeks.

What do we expect from the project

  1. Replanted and rehabilitated areas at the Tbilisi Hippodrome;
  2. Follow up initiatives from the private citizens and other organizations;
  3. Action highlighted by the Media and raised ecological understanding of the population;
  4. Publicize the Virtual Foundation's activities in Georgia encouraging indigenous groups to supporting this type of philanthropy.

Mission statement

With the goal of environmental protection in mind, the Association works out ecological programs and introduces such forms of tourism that do not violate the development of natural resources. The Association participates in arranging national parks and other ecological or recreational areas.

The organization has implemented a number of projects. Such as, Creating Ecological Sunday School in Kojori Orphanage, Involvement of Youth in Tourism, Green Paths etc.

Budget

150 young plants @ $4 $600
Digging tools (30 shovel/spade @ $6) $180
Transportation of plants by van $100
Food for students who will plant the trees (30 @ $3) $90
VF Administrative Cost (10%) $97
Total $1067