March 12, 2017
This week we are hosting a team from Chilliwack, BC, Canada. They are the first group to take on one of our Fence, Tree-Planting, and Garden (FTPG) projects!
We are increasingly approached by individuals wanting to bring a team of youth to the Plateau. They are often very willing to raise project funds and eager to be “put to work” but the reality is there is just not a whole lot for a group of 10-20 young people to do here. In the past, we generally would look for jobs that they could do (often painting) but these jobs were not always connected to the project they raised funds for.
So, we decided to take a proactive approach. Instead of waiting for a team to show interest and then scrounging up something for them to do, we would prepare projects that are always available; that have real, tangible benefit to our community; and that are already thought out so as not to require much individualized planning. The FTPG project was the first project developed as a result of this initiative.
The group from Chilliwack raised funds to put chain link fencing around a portion of Samuel’s Trees, as well as around the yard of a family in the community.
old fence coming down
new fence going up
This project will provide a much needed first step toward reforestation and food security: a fence. With free-range livestock, the only way to sustainably plant trees is to put up a fence. Whether it be for a family or on a plot of community land, each fence will give the Plateau community a boost toward reforesting their community. A fence also enables families in the community to start small gardens in their yards. While the drought has devastated the larger gardens year after year, a small garden next to their house, and the means to water it consistently, would provide a family with nourishment through these hard times.
They have already been working hard with our development staff to put in fence posts and attach the chain link. In the days to come, they will be planting trees as well.