Back in the 1970s, Dave and Grace Deppner were volunteers in the Philippines, where illegal loggers were cutting down trees and making a mess of the land. Unlike illegal loggers, professional tree removal companies remove trees with permission, and without messing up land. Professional removal companies respect the value of trees, and only remove them when asked or it is necessary, not for personal gain.
The Deppners wanted to do something about this, so they taught the local farmers about planting and raising trees, in order to re-tree their land. In the late 1980s, the Deppners incorporated their efforts under the name “Trees for the Future.” And you know what? Millions of trees have been planted in 19 countries because of the couple’s efforts.
“Technically speaking, we are an agroforestry charity,” according to the organization’s website. “Agroforestry intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems. Trees and shrubs are planted near crops and/or livestock, to the benefit of all.”
“Trees for the Future” has been a vital resource in many countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. In the African country of Senegal, for instance, slash-and-burn farming meant the loss of many, many trees. The “Trees for the Future” website tells a story of Mariama, the mother of 5 children and 4 grandchildren, who planted 800 trees around her 2-acre plot of eroded farmland. Those trees became a living fence, keeping grazing animals and the harsh dry winds out, while also providing loads of fruit to eat and sell.
You can learn more about “Trees for the Future” at treesforthefuture.org.