Ecuador

La Hesperia has begun the School Tree Nursery Project with the financial assistance from ERS. In this programme, we work with the school of the community in order to educate the children about the importance of the forest and reforestation. The programme focuses on the importance of trees, touching on key concepts such as: erosion, water production, the capture of carbon dioxide, and the interaction between plants and animals.  In order for the children to better understand these concepts we have designed a number of interactive activities.

The programme began with a field trip to the cloud forest. During this time the children were able to get a hands-on experience. They participated in a number of different outdoor activities that demonstrated the concepts we are trying to convey. In one activity the children placed newspaper on the ground and several of them laid on top acting as the roots of the trees. While the other children attempted to pull the paper out from under them. This was used to show the way in which the trees prevent erosion from occurring. The activity was done a second time, with less children acting as roots, to show that more erosion will occur if the root systems are not in the ground. The goal of this activity and others like it is to convey these concepts to the children in a fun and interactive way.

The next step in the programme is to bring these concepts to the school and allow the children to use them there. We have made plans for a tree nursery and vegetable garden to be created at the school for the children to maintain and take care of. Having the nursery and garden at the school will help the children to apply the concepts they are learning to something that is their own. This week the process began with clearing the area of the debris and garbage that covers much of the ground around the school. Volunteers went down to aide and encourage the children in the process of cleaning.  The next day we returned to the school to continue the educational activities with the children. We gave them the opportunity to paint, color, and make collages with themes that directly connected the importance of the forest to their art work. We will continue to work with the children on a bi-weekly basis in order to keep their environmental education going.

For more information on the plight of the Pacific Tropical Rainforest, here is an excellent video produced by http://www.3malliance.org/

If you would like to help supporting a tree nursery, please get in e-mail us info at earthrestorationservice.org (e-mail written like this to avoid spammers).