So what is the importance of planting your own tree? Leave aside the obvious reasons such as the environment, and taking care & responsibility of your own country. How about the memories?
Here is one of Ms. Noshie’s most vivid memories of her elementary school years. When I was young (yes, last year) I lived in Holland. And in Holland we have something called the International Tree Planting Project. One day a year, every child of every elementary school, public and private, goes out with his/her fellow students, and plants a tree. They usually do this in the neighborhood of their school, or village, so that when they grow up, they can also see ‘their’ tree grow up. It creates a type of ownership, so to speak. And I remember so vividly, one of those years, when in grade 3, my school was given a plot of grassland next to the river to plant that year’s trees. The municipality was there with their people, the workers, to help us dig the holes. And each group of children was given a few trees to plant. I was with my very best friend - we were kind of like Siamese twins for 6 years – and we were given a bunch of sticks. They didn’t look much like trees. Actually, they looked like branches. And we thought that they had given us one tree. So we proudly dug our holes, placed the ‘tree’ in it, and went proudly to the teacher to show our fantastic work. The teacher was quite amused. The municipality worker was even more amused. “Well, you ladies probably should not try a career in the forestry business.” It turned out we had placed seven trees all together in one hole. My very best friend and I thought this was hilarious, and we couldn’t stop laughing for the rest of the tree planting trip. And up to this day, I remember that moment. And very year, when I go back to my hometown, and I bike past that little plot of grassland, I am reminded of that moment. It is no longer grass, but it has become a wooded area next to the river. A perfect place for people to sit on a wooden bench, and see the water flow by, and the ducks. And every year I am reminded of the fact that within that little forest, seven of the trees are planted by me.
That is the power of planting trees. And so for you, a little slide show.