Trees Water & People

Trees, Water & People is committed to improving people's lives by helping communities to protect, conserve and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term well-being depends. We believe that natural resources are best protected when local people play an active role in their care and management.
Feb 2, 2017

Bridging the Generations

One week old pine trees for Pine Ridge
One week old pine trees for Pine Ridge

With winter upon us, tree planting is currently in a holding pattern until the warmer weather returns. However, we are getting our spring trees ready thanks to the help of our friends at the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery. They have sprouted almost 30,000 Ponderosa Pines for us, which is twice as many as last year! The seedlings will make their homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation in late April/early May in a 20,000 acre burned by fire. 

 
Not only are we setting our goal high for this coming season, but your support for our Tribal Reforestation program has been so enthusiastic that we are looking to branch out (get it?!) to other Native American Reservations. With the excellent videography of Vision Maker Media, we have produced "Bridging the Generations," an informative and inspiring video about our community reforestation efforts on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations in South Dakota. We hope it will spread the word about our program, and ultimately, help other tribes develop similar reforestation efforts.

Links:

Nov 7, 2016

Tree Field Trips this Fall

Development Director, Gemara, at Kindness Festival
Development Director, Gemara, at Kindness Festival

Now that the planting season has come and gone, Trees, Water & People is working to raise awareness about our tree-planting program. Thanks to our partnership with the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery, we are growing the next generation of Ponderosa Pines for the 2017 planting season in South Dakota. In the meantime, these little guys have had a few local field trips (they are already some well-traveled trees)!

The first event with these baby trees was hosted by the Whole Foods Market, where we asked shoppers to sponsor a tree by signing a wooden stake and writing well-wishes or dedications on the back to send along to South Dakota in the spring. People loved the tiny little guys and kept asking if they could buy them and take them home! This was a great opportunity to educate community members we don't often get the chance to talk to about how important our tree-planting program on Tribals Land is. 

Our second fall event was a collaboration with other nonprofits and organizations in our community to celebrate kindness. Speakers reminded us of the importance of being kind to one another, but also to animals and the planet. Trees, Water & People's booth at the festival featured our little trees, and again, we asked for people to sponsor a tree and send their kindness and kind words on stakes to be planted with the trees.

To end our fall outreach, Trees, Water & People was invited to a nonprofit fair at Colorado State University, where hundreds of eighth-grade students came to check out all the different charitable organizations in our community. Our booth was one of the most popular, with tons of students signing stakes to send up with our trees to South Dakota. It was fun to see the kids get so excited about planting trees! 

It's been an eventful autumn for TWP and our little trees. We know they will grow big and strong once they reach South Dakota with all this love surrounding them. Thanks for all of your support! 

Aug 9, 2016

15,000 Trees Have a New Home

Residents of Pine Ridge, SD work to plant trees
Residents of Pine Ridge, SD work to plant trees

This planting season has been a great success! With the 15,000 ponderosa pines in the ground, thanks to the hard work of 39 Native Americans, we have beaten our previous year’s planting by 5,000 trees. And that’s just the start! We have a goal this year of planting 17,000. However, we wiped out the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery’s supply of ponderosas with our 15,000 order, so we have to wait for the remaining 2,000 trees to sprout! This is all part of TWP’s goal to plant 1 million trees on tribal lands over the next several years.

TWP's Tribal Reforestation Project came about in response to several wildfires a few years ago on Tribal lands in southern South Dakota. It is estimated that 20,000 acres of ponderosa forests were lost, with very few seed trees surviving to naturally replant themselves. That’s why we’re working to help put the “pine” back in Pine Ridge! Planting the ponderosas will, improve air and water quality, reduce soil erosion, re-establish wildlife habitat, and enhance ecosystem resilience, and sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gases while engaging Native Americans in the protection of their lands.

And there to capture all the action on film was a videographer from Vision Makers Media. This Native filmmaking organization empowers and engages Native People to tell stories. They envision a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate. We're excited to be teaming up with Vision Makers Media to show you the progress made in our reforestation efforts. With their 40 years of experience, we know you will enjoy the captivating footage of the scenic plains. Stay tuned for the video in the coming soon!

 
   

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