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As well as planting mpingos, banana trees and maize, the Mpingo Women’s Group has started a beekeeping project and its members gather honey from beehives such as the one hanging in the tree behind them.

New England Biolabs Foundation

During the past two years we have reported on the activities of the Mpingo Women’s Group, an organization of 26 women who are instituting programs for self-reliance and environmental conservation in Kikafu chini, south of Moshi. The area is prime mpingo habitat and the women are planting seedlings to insure survival of the tree in their area.

This year they were awarded a grant from New England Biolabs Foundation, an independent private foundation, founded in 1982 by the president of New England Biolabs, Inc., to support grassroots organizations working with the environment, social change, the arts, elementary education, and science. The Foundation's funding priorities are primarily targeted to environmental issues.

From the NEBF website (http://www.nebf.org/): “One Trustee passionately believes in the power of grassroots movements to bring about changes. Another is con- vinced that economic incentives, coupled with   judicious management of the environment, is the key to a sustainable world. A third thinks that science and art are two complementary manifestations of our humanity.”

This grant will allow the women to purchase gardening, tree nursery and bee-keeping equipment, and alternative energy stoves which use rice husks, their local crop, as fuel. It will fund an educational trip to Olmotonyi Forest College and Njiro Wildlife Researce Center to learn more about forestry practices and bee-keeping. It also gives them a stipend for educational materials for youth groups.

Sebastian has acted as counselor to this group since its inception, five years ago, regularly visiting them and offering advice on their various projects.

10,000 Mpingos

As a result of our educational efforts in Kilimanjaro Region, awareness about mpingo conservation has grown. After he received the Lindbergh grant, Sebastian said that requests for mpingo tree seedlings had increased at nurseries throughout the area.

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Members of the Green Garden Women’s Group in Moshi lift hay off newly sprouted mpingo seedlings in seedbed.

Sebastian has been influential in starting not only youth groups which operate nurseries, but also several adult groups which are planting and distributing mpingo, along with a variety of other hardwood species.

Besides the Mpingo Women’s Group (mentioned above) Sebastian has also influenced the organization of the Green Garden Women’s Group in Moshi. This group runs a nursery, sponsors a fuelwood planting program on Mt. Kilmanjaro and grows mpingo in their nursery for distribution.

During the coming year Sebastian will coordinate a program with several of these groups and begin an ambitious tree planting project, hoping to distribute 10-15,000 mpingo seedlings from nurseries in the Moshi area. These will include five Mpingo Youth Groups, the two women’s groups and the Moshi Mpingo Plot.

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Rows of potted tree seedlings in Green Garden Women’s Group Nursery. They will distribute these seedlings to area farmers for planting.

Celebrating the Lindbergh Legacy

The year 2002 commemorates the 75th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s historic transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in 1927. Upon his return to the US, he embarked on a tour of 80 cities and revisited Little Falls, Minnesota, the town where he grew up and where he saw his first airplane.

To commemorate these important events, the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation held a 75th Anniversary Celebration & Symposium in Little Falls on August 8-11.

The focal point of the conference was a two-day Educational symposium entitled, “Global Vision/Global Solutions.” Past Lindbergh grant recipients presented information about their funded projects and the progression of their work since receiving funding.

Scientists, educators and conservationists from various fields presented information on their work ranging over a wide variety of topics including the writing of an environmental history of the world,

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ABCP Website maintained by James E. Harris, 2000.
Last revised 21 Apr 2008.