Armenia Tree Project (ATP) has recently completed its spring programs after planting a total of 233,466 trees throughout the country. The total includes 140,366 seedlings planted in the town ofSaratovkain northernArmenia, 51,100 seedlings that were provided to communities to establish new forested areas, and 42,000 fruit and decorative trees planted at 118 sites in 11 regions.
ATP continues to cooperate with new programs established inArmenia. In April, ATP provided seedlings and professional expertise in planting trees and shrubs in the yard of the newAybHigh SchoolinYerevan’s Kanaker-Zeytun district. Teachers, students, friends, and parents joined ATP to plant 905 trees and shrubs on the school grounds.
“TheAybHigh Schoolcombines the best of Armenian schooling traditions and contemporary learning technologies. The school has built a new culture of learning to raise the competitiveness of Armenian education. This ambitious initiative is deeply valued by ATP, as it shares our mission of educating younger generations,” explains Community Tree Planting program manager Arthur Harutyunyan, who led the tree planting at the school.
One of ATP’s other exciting projects was joining the Barekamavan Development Project on the Tavush border. “BarekamavanVillageis on the Azeri border and is extremely poor. From 200 families, only half still live in the village, so it was a priority for us to start working in this village,” notes Harutyunyan.
With the help of the Armenian communities inIrelandandDubaiand the support of organizations such as AGBU and Macademias, three greenhouses were built for families in Barekamavan. “With the income they get from the crops, they will be more encouraged to stay in the village, raise their children here, and ensure a strong presence in this strategic border community,” adds Harutyunyan.
ATP provided 206 pear, apple, almond, and cherry trees to families in Barekamavan, and 30 evergreens were planted around the local church yard. “ATP has made it a priority to provide the majority of its fruit trees to people in the poorest and most disadvantaged communities,” Harutyunyan emphasizes. ATP also provided fruit and nut trees to needy communities in Ghursali, Nerkin Khndzoresk, Lernamerdz, and Teghenik.
ATP’s SEEDS team established new forest areas in the northern community of Saratovka, located several miles from Stepanavan. ATP launched an exciting program in 2011 known as SEEDS, or “Social, Economic, and Environmental Development for Sustainability.”
“There were no trees or forested areas near Saratovka. Therefore, we hope the people here will make use of the fruit trees and enjoy the greenery in their community,” notes SEEDS program manager Vardan Melikyan. The new forest was established with oak, pine, ash, apple, and pear trees. It is located near a lake which will create beautiful scenery and serve as a shelter for various water birds.
The planting in Saratovka was implemented by seasonal workers hired by ATP from Vanadzor and neighboring villages, many of whom were Armenian refugees fromAzerbaijan. Within the framework of ATP’s community forests program, 41,100 tree seedlings were provided for planting in Teghenik, Karenis, and Tsakhkunq, and another 10,000 seedlings were provided to the city ofChambarakin the Gegharkunik region.
ATP’s mission is to assist the Armenian people in using trees to improve their standard of living and protect the environment, guided by the desire to promote self-sufficiency, aid those with the fewest resources first, and conserve the indigenous ecosystem. ATP’s three major programs are tree planting, environmental education, and sustainable development initiatives. For more information, please visit the web site www.armeniatree.org.
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