May 7, 2015
YEREVAN--There was no "spring break" for Armenia Tree Project (ATP). Over the past month, another 58,200 trees were planted including 4,900 fruit trees. This brings the total number of trees planted to 4,781,520 since 1994. Plantings were undertaken at 134 locations including churches, refugee villages, schools and museums. This included 41 new planting sites.
To sustain newly planted trees at the memorial in Musaler Village dedicated to the Musa Dagh resistance, an irrigation system was installed as part of a generous gift from the Estate of the late Haig J. Boyadjian. Special plantings took place at Pokr Mher military school, Dilijan International School, Quality Schools International and the Avedisian School in the Malatia Sebastia district of Yerevan.
A number of community forests were planted as well in the Kotayk, Lori and Shirak regions. The trees for the spring plantings were grown at ATP's nurseries in the villages of Karin, Khachpar and Margahovit, as well as backyard nursery micro-enterprises in Aghavnavank Village.
In keeping with one of ATP's goals of combating rural poverty by creating jobs and promoting self-sufficiency, ATP provided trees to the refugee and border villages of Kalavan, Nerkin Karmraghpyur, Aygepar and Chinari.
"Living under the constant threat of gunfire from our neighbor [Azerbaijan] makes overcoming obstacles very difficult. ATP's work helps to strengthen the ties between our villagers and their land. You gave our community hope and most important of all, faith and patience for the future," said S. Saghoyan, a community leader in Chinari, one of the villages on the border with Azerbaijan.
This spring, ACBA Credit-Agricole Bank, Anelik Bank, Asian Development Bank and Byblos Bank all sponsored and participated in tree planting as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. "We're so happy CSR is blossoming in Armenia with so much promise as more and more organizations are showing interest. It was a great, long season, the weather was on our side and it allowed us to do a significant amount of planting," said ATP Deputy Director Arthur Harutyunyan.
ATP's reforestation program was advanced in the Lori region this spring with the planting of 23,200 decorative and 300 fruit trees along a hillside in Mikhaylovka village. More than 200,000 trees are projected to be planted as part of the forestry programs in the fall.
In addition to plantings, ATP organized a public cleanup event in the framework of the global Earth Day activities. Members of the international diplomatic corps and community, as well as representatives from several local and international organizations joined their efforts to clean the Yerevan Children's Railway Park in Hrazdan Gorge and the adjacent banks of the Hrazdan River.
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 and conserve the indigenous ecosystem. ATP's three major programs are tree planting, environmental education and sustainable development initiatives.