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Trees for Life, and annual tree planting project.

Photos from the Trees for Life tree planting project.VOLUNTEERS PLAY AN important part in tree planting and tree care projects in communities throughout the world. They work in partnership with city officials, schools, businesses, and other citizens to transform barren landscapes. Residents are participating in planting trees in a tree planting project by volunteering to beautify our community. The heartfelt effort can be very fulfilling.

Within this year, twenty thousand trees will be planted by villagers and young people in the area north of Chiangmai in Mae Taeng in an effort to replenish the forest. The project known as “Trees for Life” is joined by the forestry department and local villagers, to sponsor the first of a planned annual event. The project touched the hearts of three Thailand television personalities, youth, and environmental activists who all came out to assist in replanting in two villages areas that were determined to need more healthy trees. The event was launched on May 11, 2009 at the Bamboo Country Lodge, on Baan Chaang. The program was the first large tree planting held for more than 50 years. The event encouraged youth to take an active role in conservation and the planting is intended to build a greater conservation ethic in area residents.

Dressed in colorful blue, white and red, the national colors of Thailand, we heard from “Daak Dae”, "This event is great to raise the awareness of these young people regarding tree planting as a vital part of the restoration of the land that is life of each person," who is the recognized cheerleader of Thailand.

The popular Movie and TV actor who performed in 300 movies both Thai and international, Kovit Wattanakul, emphasized that “we cannot separate ourselves from nature from where humans derive sustenance just the same as the small birds and animals that take shelter in the forest.” This thought is from the Buddhist belief that all living things depend on each other.

"It's a real cooperative effort for the villagers to have fun planting the young trees. Throughout the year they will be checking up on the planted trees to ensure the trees are growing steady and strong,” said Ken Apisiriphat owner of Bamboo Country Lodge and operations manager of the event.

The Mae Taeng area is a popular area for tourism with such activities such as an elephant camp, bamboo rafting and trekking. National agencies involved in managing the area have been cooperating on improving the area and this tree planting will help in that effort.

The “Welcome to Chiangmai & Chiangrai” Magazine, the Chiangmai Northern Trekking Co, and private individuals support the effort to promote the appreciation and stewardship of public lands. "We are thrilled to be a part of this event and want to see the area come back more green and shady," said Sareen Pustan, owner of Chiangmai Northern Trekking Co.

Looking at the happy faces in the photos taken at the event, one can see the reflected fulfillment each felt on this day.

The public is invited to donate one Baht per tree to continue the tree planting. For details contact: Mr. Ken Apisiriphat (mobile 087-300-9122), Bamboo Country Lodge, 118/1 Moo 4, Tambon Baan Chaang, Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai 50150 or email bamboocountrylodge@gmail.com. Web site: http://tree-for-life.blogspot.com/

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