Answering Calls for Conservation with Tree Planting Party

Answering Calls for Conservation with Tree Planting Party

Written by Onesmus Ole Irungu, HHFL’s volunteer in nature and conservation

On April 27th, we held a major tree planting party like we have never had before. This came as a concern for the shrinking Kenya’s forest cover, which has been caused by unregulated logging and charcoal burning.

It was during one of the occasional bird walks/nature trails that I take with kids inside the huge Ngong Forest that I mentioned to them the need for us to take part in tree planting. When the kids got their eyes lit up, I promised them we would do it in one of their school holidays when they are all at home so that we may have a good number of them participating in this move.

On this day, I had taken a break from my safari work and drove to the Lenana forest where we were to plant trees. The kids and staff of HHFL had arrived there early enough and were ready to start planting trees.  With it being a wet season, my truck could not access the remote parts of the forest where we were to plant the trees. The kids carried the seedlings by their hands and walked about 1km into the forest. On average, each kid managed to carry four seedlings still wrapped in their polythene pockets.

On arrival at the planting site, I took the kids through the procedure of preparing the holes, then unwrapping the seedlings and finally the actual planting.

By around noon, we had planted nearly 300 seedlings. We were to call it a day, but the kids requested we do more. Having exhausted the first bunch of seedlings, we went back all the way for more seedlings and by 2pm, 400 seedlings were on the ground.

Again it was learning time, because we had to collect all the little wrapping bags. I was careful to let the children know that polythene (and plastics) is one of the major soil and water pollutant and we should do our best not to add any more of that to the environment. The bags were collected and taken to the garbage bins where it would be safe for disposal.

On this day, we planted two species of trees. The Eucalyptus, which is an exotic tree and a bit unfriendly to the insects and birds; and also we planted croton. This one attracts insects and makes good habitat for the birds.

For me it was such a great joy seeing just how much love the kids showed in contributing to the worldwide calls to conservation. I got very satisfied that I am helping raise a generation that will take care of the earth.

We are living in times when many young people are into things that add no value to themselves and to the world, and this was a step in the right direction with these amazing children of HHFL.

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