Toutes les idées

How Tree Planting Day replenished my hope for the planet’s future

7ab58a 13728934b1c6441497ee1e34a0024185
byKiran Johnson
onJanuary 25, 2024

The students gathered in a circle around a foot-deep hole in the earth. Majda Stitou, Facilitator in Psychosocial Empowerment at the High Atlas Foundation (HAF), held a sapling, explaining how to place the tree into the hole and pile soil around it in a way that would retain water. The circle of children around her tightened as they watched with wide eyes.

On Monday, January 15th, community members of the Ameghrass commune, in Amizmiz Dnasa, School groups Agni Unity, and the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) volunteers came together for HAF’s 2024 annual Tree Planting Day.

7ab58a 7aa394a96da44499b39ce9019074453e

Community members dug holes for the transplanting of the saplings, HAF members showed the students how to plant them, and then the students were then given free reign to plant the trees and bury their roots.

7ab58a 1c40f5900e314e46aa6ec041fd983560

I was initially tasked with taking photos of the event. I captured one photo of a group of children leaning in around one kid, who was scooping dirt with a shovel. Another photo of multiple kids holding a single sapling, each with one hand, as they slowly lowered it into the ground. Eventually, I got pulled into the organized chaos and kids gathered around me as I shoveled soil around a sapling.

I was surprised with how eager to learn about the trees these students were. They had listened with focused faces as Stitou explained the role that the trees played in the carbon cycle. Seeing their enthusiasm filled my heart with hope: If kids already know and can learn this easily to care about the earth, then our planet is in good hands.

Among all the negative environmental discussions that circulate the news and flood the internet, experiencing this environment and community development action firsthand reinvigorated me to be part of sustainable change. The environmental problems we face feel so large and looming, but focusing on creating local, community-level differences makes these issues seem more manageable. And, in the end, these actions add up to equal large, longer-lasting changes that will benefit the planet and its people.