Wednesday, May 28, 2008


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TREE REPORT by Dean White (More pictures to be added soon!!!)
Deforestation is a big problem in Africa. What can we do to make a difference, and inspire others to do the same?

A report from one father's perspective.

The miracle of watching something (or someone) grow always amazes me!

Since our children were going to school at the International School of Moshi - in Arusha we tried to find ways to volunteer on that campus.

At the end of last term, I was invited by the principal and a parent committee to lead a tree project on campus. We rallied the parent group around an action plan and the new tree group later grew to involve 2 students (my children Rachel, and Timmy) in a Tree Club or ECA activity as its called; 1 classroom cooperated with us; the Garden Club ECA planted fruit trees; the administration, teachers, and staff offered their suggestions, support and help; then later, the project interfaced with another tree project in the village of Ilkilorit in Arusha.

I remember back in Stokes County, North Carolina, USA, where I grew up, we had plenty of trees, and we took what we needed, and more just grew back on the farm! However these days, at home, and abroad, we are learning (or need to learn) about planting more trees than we take.

This tree club has helped us do just that, as we learned about trees with others here on this campus! This year many people on the campus felt upset when several trees were cut down. We were too, but our club was able to answer that in a positive way. We have planted about 900 seedlings in small boxes that can be sold and replanted later throughout Arusha. This capstone of our tree club will help the environment and teach conservation.

It will also fund and supply a new tree nursery project on campus. Later, it is our hopes that this nursery could help to supply, and to start, an indigenous small forest on one part of the school's campus!!!

These are baskets and a bag of tree seeds. The upper bag was shipped from a tree project in Tabora which I started with a friend named Daniel Mayunga, (see other website ) and these in the lower baskets came from a small workgroup, and tree project which I helped to start in the village of ILKILORIT where our family has been living in Arusha.

The elders in the village of Ilkilorit, had asked me to work with them on some local projects, and in teaching in that village. The town of Arusha had sent out a letter to the villages encouraging people to plant trees, and the "Mtendaji" of our village, Mama Viola, asked us to help out!

We took her up on the chance to help.! We used some some of our family's ministry development funds as seed capital to start a tree project in that village which would be able to interface with, and complement, ISM's campus tree project.

One tree cutter, who is a friend of ours in this village, and member of our church, needed funds to help send his children to school and to feed his family, because in the wet season he had stopped cutting trees. The tree cutter was able to earn a few thousand T-shillings for each box of seedlings which he found, and for bags of seeds which he gathered from local, and indigenous species of trees. I coached him on the possibility of working with seeds and seedlings instead of cutting trees. He caught on to the idea, and I then became his best, and first customer.

As a representive of ISM's Tree Club, I encouraged him to partner with me on behalf of that club, and to gather as many seedlings as possible. We decided to gather them and plant them in a box that was lined with a large plastic bag, This man, named Satieli, partnered with another young man named, Seuli, to begin this project together. Mr. Satieli gathered support from youth in the community. They also gathered several buckets of seeds which were later dried out and put in storage for later projects in the village!

Satieli, gathered the seeds and plants, and Seuli, cared for the seedlings, and dried the seeds in the sun for storage later in bags and woven baskets. The seedlings were delived in boxes and only needed occasional watering. The bag retained moisture and the cardboard box stayed dry. We called this a miniture "Forest in a Box". The phrase "Start an Oxygen factory" was coined to describe our little endeavor! We printed out a prototype for a bumper stick which the next club or a class could make and use in continuing these efforts and in a future fundraising project.

In our project, the seeds were brought in wet and eventually dried to a low moisture rate in the hot African sun on the bricks in our yard. The seed project will be used in the village, as Seuli, experiments with seedbeds, and water projects, and as the dry season approaches. One of the new goals of this tree group is to buy a small, foot powered, hydraulic pump to water the plants from a local vein of water in our village.
This project already has another group of young people on the upper side of the village who have been participating in the community discussions about this and other development projects. This group suffered a setback recently when their small store was robbed and emptied which they had been using as a cooperative work project among them. The chairmen of the youth, are now wanting to start a new community work group of their own. Eventually, we hope to start a community development center together with the village elders, youth, and with the peope of Ilkilorit. This was our first example project in this large endeavor! The village elders who wanted to encourage the development center project believed that it would be best to start with one project and then expand it into a community center. This was certainly good and wise advice, so we followed it, and proceeded slowly, but surely with our first venture. . . trees! Since it was the rainy season, this turned out to be the right time for this project. Now we are seeing the fruit of this venture.

Today we brought these trees to school at ISM during club. They all will be sold and distributed throughout the community by parents and friends of ISM. The ECA club attached signs on the trees and many people saw them as they were displayed throughout the front and center courtyard of the school. (In the backgrounds of the pictures you will see many trees on the campus. Many of those trees were planted by students years ago when the new ISM campus was started here in Arusha.)

This has been a successful and invigorating project! Today was our capstone project with the students. Some special leaders of the village had came yesterday to visit with me and to see the project. The village Chairmen came along with the Mtendaji and one of their council members to visit the tree project in our home. Mr. Wilson Shange is the Village Chairman and he is also the founder and director of the Sotwa Wilson School, a nursery, primary, and English medium school in our village of Ilkilorit. He encouraged us greatly by his visit with his friends from the village committee. We began to see some the many opportunities which might build cooperation with our village and with schools such as ISM!

Mr. Shange, the village chairman asked us to greet the school at ISM, and he was glad for our opportunity to support one another in protecting and caring for the environment, and in projects that would spark development in the community.
One energetic group of students, at ISM had planned to sell, the "forest in a box" which the villages had transplated. The funds will go towards a tree nursury at school for tree awareness, fundraising, and community development. The other funds will go back into the village of Ilkilorit to start more tree seed and seedling projects.

This was alot of fun, and as I was directing this afterschool event this term, I remembered HOW MUCH FUN, that I had when I was a full-time teacher back home in my home state of North Carolina. It has been a great time. The ECA children did a great job, as well as the small group of girls in the classroom who have made this project successful by their encouragement, tree research, suppport, and class projects!

The International School of Moshi is an IB and MYP school. I would encourage you to send your children to this school. It has been a great boost to me and to my family, and it has been a fantastic way to be involved in the community, through their concern for others, and heart for people and their community.

One of the most encouraging things that happened, I must say, was at the end of the day, when a group of students, listened to a presentation about this campus project. One student Thomas expressed interest. So now with the help of his friends, other students and his mother, (who just happens to be on the parent tree committee and garden club and is a expert on Trees inEast Africa,) have decided to help carry this ECA into the future. THIS IS GREAT NEWS to me.

Thomas and I discuss many great ideas and plans, and as this last activity ended it was successfully handed-over to him. I am also so glad that his mother has agreed to help sponsor or co-sponsor this upcoming ECA.

PLEASE realize, that those of us in the tree club are trying to get some students to help us with this final ECA project of selling tree boxes. There maybe some opportunity for CS hours for selling 1 box. We will talk to Adrian. However next time this club will be plug directly into the community and YOU SHOULD BE HAVING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SEVERAL COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS through this project and this club


  • Charles Schofield has been interested in helping with a TREE FRISBEE GOLF COURSE

  • Ms. Wood said that she will help with the projects next year in some way!

  • People shoud do school research and learn about some of the TREE RESOURCE CD'SThese need to be copied, studied, used and reproduced.

  • There is an incredible amount of online resources, and specifically, a website that has catalogue Tanzania's indigenous species, which needs to be studied and possibly made into a Swahili field manuel. Its currently in English, and because this school, and its students know English, then they may "tap into" and rapidly "transfer" those resources into the hands of those Tanzanians and East Africans who need them.

  • The students may do model projects and distill the information into various pamphlets and learning tools that could be exported into the community!

  • A number of teachers liked the possibility of integrating a campus - wide community tree project, and some of its goals into their classroom curriculum. The PYP and MYP curriculu and IB curriculum needs to be explored and then one might see how to integrate classroom and community learning projects together. There are alot of interesting possibilities for this.

  • The project has sparked interest of students of all ages. I hope that many will use the ECA and other classroom, afterschool projects as a way to contribute and HAVE FUN!

  • Many other ideas have been mentioned by the parents group who started this, and later introduced to students, faculty and administration.

Thanks ISM, I pray and hope that you all can achieve many goals, and be a model for other schools in community development service and projects!

Its been great woking with you.
My family and I will miss you all!

Dean White
and Family


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Any Ideas for a Tree Decal?

How could a decal-sticker like this be used to create awareness about trees, the website, and be used for fundraising?
Ideas anyone? (I'll start!)
1. Sell stickers with tree seedlings
and use money for building a tree seedling nursery.
A large tree nursery could be managed by students (class or ECA) and be a place for the school to collect and plant tree seedlings.

Then 1/2 o f the nursery projects could be used for eco-friendly fundraisers, and
the other 1/2 of the nursury could be used in school and community service projects

Any other ideas for using a decal like this one?
2. Ideas?
3. Ideas?
4. Ideas?
Just add them in the comment boxes


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tree Seeds

The "TREE EXPLORER" phase of the ISM TREE CLUB has been a time of photographing campus trees and finding tree seeds! Here is a picture of seeds drying out which we found at our Wed. tree club.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

TREES - Cutting them, Using Them, Protecting Them - PLUS Links!

Forestry: Forestation and Deforestation
Here are alot of links. Something to remember about agroforestry is that all forests need protection, and if we care for the forests and manage them properly then we can get products from the forests and still keep the forests. Its not wrong to cut a tree. We get many products from trees, and we need to learn to manage trees. The problem is that we are taking more trees than we are planting. In the past people did not really think about planting trees...they just grew back on their own. Now this generation of people needs to understand everything about trees and how to manage and use them and their forests, because LOTS of things in the environment is linked to the trees....LIKE US!!!There are lots of things to learn about cutting trees, and we need to take a stand against deforestation, but at the same time realize we use many products made from trees and wood. Hey, think about that paper and pencil that you just used today? Made from wood possibly? What about your desks, and doors that you walked through, etc. etc, just look around. Wood is a renewable commodity, and its products are used in many think about how to use trees, and then go out and learn how to plants some OR help somebody else in their tree planting, and tree PLANNING efforts....Have a great day, friends!
Tropical Forests PRR - Full Text
Tropical Forests PRR - Graphs and Maps
Tropical Forests PRR

(F) Background Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF)
Community Forestry International Projects
Conservation International - Home
Facility - About the Facility
Facility - Africa
FAO Forestry Department
Forestry Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF)
Forestry project in China aims at sustainability - International Herald Tribune
ICRAF - Home Page
ICRAF Library Browse Publications
Tanzania Forestry and Beekeeping Division Documents and Downloads
Tanzania Forestry and Beekeeping Division
Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) Improving Governance and Natural Resource Management in Tanzania
The African Conservation Foundation - Home
Trees - The Arbor Day Foundation
Tropical Forests PRR
Welcome to ECA
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) - Nairobi, Kenya
World Agroforestry Centre
World Agroforestry CentreSouth East Asia