March 31, 2015
YEREVAN--Earth Day marks the anniversary of what many consider to be the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Since spring is one of the brightest and most productive seasons for Armenia Tree Project (ATP), April is often referred to as "Earth Month" in Armenia.
"We call this Earth Month because there's not a single day that we don't carry out activities directed to environmental protection, education, and advocacy," notes Country Director Lucineh Kassarjian. "Our efforts have already started with community tree planting, preparations for reforestation, and more actively bringing environmental education to schools."
On Friday, April 10, ATP is organizing a public tree planting in Aragyugh, a town in the region of Kotayk. "Our friends, followers, and guests visiting Armenia can volunteer to have their mark on the environmental rebirth of Armenia by planting their own tree," explains Kassarjian.
The beautiful hilly location selected for the planting is known for its monument to the armed forces that served during World War II. It is visited annually by veterans and others from the general public. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War II so the planting will carry a special meaning. ATP plans to plant 1,500 fruit and decorative trees at the site with volunteers.
"ATP will provide transportation for the first 50 registered volunteers. Working gloves, shovels and most importantly, the trees, are provided by ATP. Just bring your good will and energy," emphasizes Kassarjian.
The deadline to register for the transportation is Wednesday, April 8. Details are available on the ATP page on Facebook, where volunteers can register for the event, or register by calling the ATP Yerevan Office at (010) 44-74-01. This planting is being generously underwritten by the Berberian Family in London.
On Saturday, April 18, ATP is coordinating a waste cleanup of the Yerevan Children's Railway within the framework of the global Earth Day movement. The goal is to clean up the park around the Children's Railway and the adjacent territories around the river.
"Our aim is to have a cleaner and healthier city. The first beneficiaries of our work will be the children of Armenia," states Kassarjian. A tree planting celebration at the park will take place after the cleanup.
The initiators of the Earth Day cleanup are ATP and the 'Barev Yerevan' municipal faction. The Yerevan Municipality has also supported the initiative, along with dozens of organizations and volunteers.
In addition to these two events, ATP has ambitious tree planting plans for the year. The overall goal is to plant more than 300,000 trees, including 65,000 this spring. Sites have been selected all over Armenia and Artsakh with a focus on border villages and towns. Fruit trees have already been planted in Chinari, Aygepar, Verin Karmraghbyur, and Movses in the Tavush region.
Since its inception in 1994, ATP has planted more than 4.7 million trees, established three nurseries and two environmental education centers, and has greened villages, churches, parks, and open spaces throughout Armenia. In the process, the organization has provided employment for hundreds of people and provided vital resources to thousands of villagers throughout the country.