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Trees for Life - Grow a Tree (Fourth Project)

Region: China
Author: Zhou Yun, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences
Consortium Member: Green Earth Volunteers (China)
Status: Funded and Ongoing Budget: $1430 Collected: $1430 Needs: $0
Result: To continue this education and reforestation project, in response to increasing interest from new schools in the Beijing and Xinjiang areas.
Donors: Ron Blum, Massachusetts [September 2002]; Lydia Thompson and the 6th floor MADEP, Massachusetts [October 2002]; Rachael Sharon for the Fifth Anniversary (wood) of Andrew and Ria Sharon, Missouri [October 2002];Esther Schmidt, New Jersey [October 2002]; Trace Foundation
Comment: Previous activities of "Trees for Life" involved hundreds of schoolchildren in planting and caring for their own trees. See the "Funded Projects" section for reports and photographs.


Brief Description of the Project

This is an environmental education project. It is found that participation by the people is essential for environmental protection program to be effective. Public participation requires a process of education, to inform people about their environment and the means of protecting it, and to encourage them to participate in environmental protection efforts. The project targets school children and can get kids involved at an early age, so they will know from the beginning how important the environment is. By focusing on China's children we hope that Trees for Life project can educate a new "green generation", who will be well-prepared for the task of protecting China's environment in the 21st century.

It is also a reforestation project. Planting trees from a seed is a very important aspect of China's environmental protection efforts. Trees can avert soil erosion, improve air quality, help to counter the threat of global warming, provide habitat for indigenous animal life, etc.. So the usefulness and need for trees are very significant.

Previous successes of "Trees for Life - Grow a Tree"

The Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences started a project in November 1994 in Beijing entitled "Trees for Life: Grow a Tree". One aspect of the project is to provide information and resources necessary for planting trees and for understanding the importance of trees to the survival of life on this planet to elementary school children including a hands-on Tree-planting-Awareness kit that allows children to germinate and plant a tree from seed and to care for it. The kit contains:

Environmental education is perhaps the most cost-effective way to promote the sustainable use of natural resources in the long term. Environmental education in primary schools should be an essential goal for all countries.

From 1994 to 2000, with the help of organizations, such as Virtual Foundation and China Environmental Foundation, more than 220,000 elementary school children have participated in this program in Beijing, Sichuan, Yunnan, Hebei, Shanxi province and Xinjiang Autonomous Region. The response from the teachers who have participated in the program has been very positive. As for the children who have participated in the program, they feel it is an important part of growing up.

Goals of this project
This project's goal is to enable 8000 children from Xinjiang Autonomous Region and Beijing to participate in this project and plant over 40,000 seeds. Children who will be participating in this project will write short papers on the experiences of how to geminate and plant trees. The project office will provide a report to Virtual Foundation after the project is finished.

Budget
Printing materials (8050 books) $850
Printing planting cartons (8050 cartons) $350
Shipping $100
Subtotal $1300
Virtual Foundation fee $130
Total for this project $1430