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Embracing the Trees Project, Southwest, U.S. Region, Fall 2022 Report

As part of the GreenFriends North America Embracing the Trees (ETT) project, various regions in the U.S. and Canada regularly report their progress in planting trees in their area. In addition to finding direct tree planting opportunities, the different regions are encouraged to find other organizations to partner with who may already have tree planning projects.

This is the latest report of ETT activities in the Southwest region.
Colorado tree planting crew
Colorado tree planting crew


Colorado ETT coordinators have currently identified three non-profit organizations to potentially partnering with in planting trees. Depending on timing and logistics, tree planning could begin possibly this Spring.

  • Douglas County Conservation District East Plum Creek Restoration Project
    We enjoyed a successful planting event last May 14th planting at the East Plum Creek Revitalization project (in partnership with Douglas County Conservation District) in Castle Rock, Colorado. The East Plum Creek Restoration Partnership is an extensive stream habitat improvement project along a nearly one mile stretch of East Plum Creek, a central wildlife corridor, as it passes through the Historic Lowell Ranch in Southern Castle Rock. The importance of East Plum Creek is due to its position in the central wildlife corridor that connects thousands of preserved acres of National Forest, State Parks, State Wildlife Areas, and Douglas County Open Space. Impacts to East Plum Creek do affect the Plum Creek and Chatfield Watersheds. We hope to continue volunteering annually.

  • Denver Digs Trees
    For 40 years, the Denver Digs Trees program has been offering sizable, free and low-cost trees for all Denver residents. People have enjoyed volunteering once or twice yearly for the past few years and we're hoping to continue this seva by helping plant more trees, especially in lower income neighborhoods of Denver.

  • HighLine Canal Conservancy
  • The mission of the HighLine Canal Conservancy is preserving, protecting and enhancing Colorado's meandering 71-mile canal, in partnership with the public. This is a cherished greenway hosting a plethora of wildlife that connects people to nature and to varied communities from the foothills to the plains. We will see what tree planting opportunities present themselves.
East Plum Creek
East Plum Creek

We're still encouraging people to undertake their own planting projects on their private land, or to partner or foster tree planting undertakings of interest in their area, as folks are spread widely throughout Colorado. We encourage them to contact us with any plans, for brainstorming, volunteer coordination, etc., and for the reporting of trees planted.

When announcing a volunteer opportunity to the Colorado satsang via emailed ETT newsletter, we've been highlighting previous events with photos as well as sharing devotee's private-land plantings with pictures.

We strive to consolidate as much information as possible, to not overwhelm with information and will likely continue sending our own ETT newsletter announcements bi-annually or so.

If a new planting opportunity presents, we can also include that update in the monthly Colorado satsang announcements. We've also been sharing these ETT announcements via the various zoom satsangs.


New Mexico

Planting Trees from Seeds

Santa Fe volunteers gathered for orchard maintenance at the Amma Center of New Mexico and to plant seeds for a number of tree varieties. Tree seeds were planted in an outdoor raised bed that had previously been ‘double dug’ and enhanced with mushroom compost.

Tree seeds that were planted included:

  • Plum
  • Apricot
  • Black Locust
  • Black Walnut
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Desert Willow
  • Kansas Hawthorn
  • Netleaf Hack

All of these varieties are suitable for both the arid climate and the elevation. The idea is to see what sprouts in the spring and then nurture the sprouts to saplings. Eventually the survivors will be transplanted into the ground, either on the Amma Center property or given to volunteers to plant on their own property.

Orchard Maintenance

Orchard maintenance involved clearing a space to the drip line around each of the Amma Center’s twenty plus fruit trees, scattering “orchard mix” and then covering the area with straw as mulch to prevent the birds from eating all of the seeds.

Orchard mix is a combination of:

  • Buckwheat
  • Field peas
  • Daikon radish
  • Oats
  • Harry vetch
  • Red clover
  • Purple Pelletier clover
  • Blanket flower
  • Plains coreopsis

Orchard mix serves as a nitrogen fixer and soil builder plus it breaks up clods in the soil.

Kelsey leads the way to planting
Kelsey leads the way to planting
Planting the seedsPlanting the seeds
The beds are put to bed
The beds are put to bed
All of this effort was under the supervision of wonderful Kelsey, a local arborist.

One remaining task is to paint the trunks of the orchard trees with white, water-based paint. And why would we do this? The sun in New Mexico is so strong and constant that tree trunks can actually get sunburn. They start to blister and peel which can lead to the eventual death of the tree. Putting white paint on the trunks acts just like sunscreen for us humans.

Please contact trees@greenfriendsna.org for more information. Please include the city and state you live in when writing to us.

Mukta in Colorado and Vishwan in New Mexico

Read Let Our Hands Be God's Hands in the Q1 2023 Newsletter >>


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