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 (Good Gifts, continued from pg. 1)
The roots, about a foot deep, are also dug out . Ultimately, though, the thorn brush turned out to be a beneficial material because when piled up by the villagers around the periphery of the acreage, it became an impenetrable fence, serving as a barrier to village livestock and wild animals.

The seedlings transplanted to Makuyuni were grown at the Moshi Mpingo Plot (MMP), where two full-time workers are now employed by the ABCP.

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Rows of holes dug to plant mpingo seedlings recede towards a security hut built by the Makuyuni villagers at the edge of the planting area. A photo slide show of the project can be viewed on the ABCP website.

Another area being planted is at Kilindini, where the superintendent of the local primary school had already planted 100 mpingo trees after meeting Sebastian at a workshop and becoming interested in the work of the ABCP. The school has a large acreage of land surrounding it and has taken on the task of planting 5,000 mpingo trees, which will be cared for by the students and school personnel.

Two other planting areas are in Kirua and Kilema, where about 4,000 trees have been planted.

One point to emphasize is the importance the ABCP attaches to follow-up care and ensuring that the seedlings planted survive their first crucial years.

One technique that is being used is to take a filled inverted plastic water bottle with a tiny pinprick opening and bury it in the ground to water the plant in the first year, in case rains are not sufficient. Since mpingo requires much less moisture than many other species, this extra amount can make the difference that will insure survival. 

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Moving the thorny acacia brush into place to create a boma,
a brush fence that protects the planting field from livestock.

 

The cultivation of trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful and the ennobling in man.
– J. Sterling Morton
Founder, The National Arbor Day Foundation

 

(Cottonwood, continued from pg. 1)
The KEEG is responding to this new situation by growing trees in their nurseries for distribution that will help to replace those natural resources that have been lost to the people with the closing of the forest. With the funding from the Cottonwood Foundation, they will be planting and distributing 15,000 trees of about ten different species.

These trees will provide a variety of services. Many of them have multiple uses, i.e., branches can be used for firewood and leaves for animal fodder. Some, such as African mahogany, can be utilized locally for furniture making or sold commercially. Bee-keeping will be supported by planting flowering trees specifically attractive to bees. In addition, since the people rely heavily on natural remedies, the bark, leaves and roots of many trees planted will be used medicinally.

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The children of KEEG members are active participants in tree planting for conservation. Here they are bringing seedlings from the KEEG nursery to transport to planting areas.

The KEEG has all the infrastructure in place to quickly germinate, pot and distribute a large number of trees. Last year they accomplished a special project of planting 11,000 Silk oak (Grevilla robusta) trees, lining the main road in their area. These trees will provide resources for both domestic and environmental purposes.

We thank Paul Moss, director of Cottonwood Foundation, and all its dedicated volunteers, for their continuing support of the work of the ABCP and its affiliated groups and their selection of the ABCP as a Cottonwood Partner. Over the past ten years Cottonwood has provided us with the impetus and funding to build our infrastructure so that we are able to grow and distribute increasing numbers of trees each year. 

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Members of the KEEG Group load seedbeds with soil pots into which they will plant tree seedlings at their nursery in Sungu Village. Such frames can hold up to 7,000 seedlings.

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ABCP Website maintained by James E. Harris, 2000.
Last revised 20 Nov 2008.