01 Mar, 2023

Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Armenia in Chicago, Hosts the Armenia Tree Project

Photo caption: (From L to R) Paruir Sarkisian (Senior Consulate Advisor), Jeanmarie Papelian (ATP Executive Director), Oscar Tatosian (Honorary Consul), Anahit Gharibyan (ATP Chief Outreach Manager), Christine Jerian (ATP Chief Development Officer), at the Armenian Consulate in Chicago, Illinois

CHICAGO, IL, February 2023 – The Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Armenia in Chicago recently hosted the Armenia Tree Project (ATP) for a weekend of events and meetings to introduce the group’s longstanding activities throughout Armenia. Founded in 1994, the Armenia Tree Project has created important environmental projects throughout Armenia which have sustained ongoing long-term environmental and economic advancement throughout the country and particularly in its more rural areas.

Oscar Tatosian, Honorary Armenian Consul in Chicago, invited Jeanmarie Papelian, Anahit Gharibyan, and Christine Jerian to present the work of the ATP and to introduce the organization to community leaders and to the larger diaspora in Chicago. A welcoming reception, organized by the Honorary Consul, was attended by civic leaders and students from The University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

As Consul Tatosian explained, “The Armenian Tree Project has had a great impact throughout Armenia -- particularly in rural areas where social and economic stability, as well as security, are urgently needed. Since 1994, over 7.6 million trees have been planted and restored. This kind of direction and awareness has generated incredible progress in Armenia.”

“We are so grateful for the warm welcome that ATP received in Chicago,” said Jeanmarie Papelian, Executive Director of the Armenia Tree Project. “It was inspiring to know that the Armenians of Chicago share our vision for a more sustainable Armenia.”

During their three-day visit, ATP’s team members, joined by Honorary Consul Oscar Tatosian, were the guests of the Chicago Botanic Garden, where Fred Spicer, Executive Vice President and Director of the Garden, provided a personalized tour featuring many species of trees and plants native to Armenia. They also discussed the possibility of future collaboration on relevant scientific topics.

The ATP Team presented to a number of youth groups and churches including the St. James Armenian Church, the Siragan Armenian Dance Company of Chicago, the AGBU of Chicago Armenian School Students, and the Ararat Chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation. In addition to a visit to Yerevan Park in downtown Chicago, the ATP visitors were welcomed into the home of community members Sevak and Tamar Alaverdyan which allowed a greater number of members to hear about the impact of the Armenia Tree Project in Armenia and Artsakh.

The presentations by ATP highlighted the Artsakh Backyard Greenhouse Initiative -- launched in 2021 in response to the 44-day war led by Azerbaijan and the loss of agricultural lands and territory. Currently, this initiative allows Armenians to grow food in greenhouses and stave off humanitarian crises and potential starvation due to the Lachin Corridor Blockade led by Azerbaijan.

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Armenia Tree Project, established in 1994, is a non-profit organization that revitalizes Armenia’s and Artsakh’s most vulnerable communities through tree-planting initiatives and provides socio-economic support and growth. It is based in Yerevan, Armenia, and has an office in Woburn, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit ArmeniaTree.org.