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Trees to inspire a new world order: AFA starts the ball rolling with a workshop for Eastern European environmental leaders.

Environmental damage knows no political boundaries. But actions to help the environment are equally capable of traveling across borders without passports or visas.

Soon after AFA launched the Global ReLeaf campaign in October of 1988, we began receiving inquiries from other countries. To date, we have heard from close to 100 nations. Apparently, the Global ReLeaf concept translates well into any language or culture.

Nowhere has the message been better received than in Eastern Europe. Our first Global ReLeaf partner in that sector of the world is the Independent Ecological Center (IEC), a private, nonprofit conservation organization in Budapest, Hungary (see AMERICAN FORESTS, July/August, 1991). At AFA's request, the IEC agreed to host a Global ReLeaf Workshop last January for current and potential European partners.

The workshop started with a round-robin session in which the participants described the challenges facing their organizations.

At one point we traveled by bus to Nagykovacsi, a village that received a Hungarian Global ReLeaf grant to plant trees. This was my first opportunity to get to know a group of Hungarian citizen activists, similar to the groups I work with in the United States. Motivations turned out to be the same: Members of these fledgling conservation organizations hold a firm belief in the power of the individual and group to change things for the better.

We also toured a Hungarian Global ReLeaf planting at a housing development in Rakoskeresztur. Most housing projects consist of a block of buildings, each 10 stories high and stark: Money runs dry before landscaping is put in. It was evident that the trees paid for by the Global ReLeaf Fund accomplished a lot more than beautification. As we have found in the U.S., building community spirit is perhaps the greatest gift of tree planting.

When we visited a school project, a workshop participant from Croatia was so taken that he stayed up all night designing a similar project for his country. "As soon as the war is over, I will be ready to start planting trees again," he told us.

Like their American counterparts, these new citizen groups face tremendous challenges, but they have the chance to make their positive environmental actions felt around the world'-- DEBORAH GANGLOFF

Joining Hands To Find Answer

Bull FIN Information Systems, the U.S. subsidiary of the world's eighth largest computer company, has signed an agreement with AFA and the U.S. Forest Service to cooperate on research in support of President Bush's America the Beautiful tree-planting innitiative.

Bull HN's Tim Kilduff, Forest Service Chief F. Dale Robertson, and AFA Executive Vice President Neil Sampson announced the new public-private partnership at a January reception introducing the Forest Policy Center and its Advisory Council and director AL SAMPLE.


AFA's Forest Policy Center has just released a report on the management implications of using the bark of the Pacific yew to produce taxol, a chemical shown to be highly effective against ovarian cancer. (See AMERICAN FORESTS, July/August 1991 .)

The new story is a pointed illustration of the value of managing forest ecosystems to protect biological diversity even if a given plant or animal species has no current commercial value.

For a copy of the report, send $5 to Forest Policy Center, AFA, P.O. Box 2000, Washington, DC 20013.---AL SAMPLE

One Tree

"Partners in Preservation" is the theme of a promotion that Fellowes Manufacturing, a Chicago producer of storage containers, is sponsoring on behalf of Global ReLeaf. Each time a customer who purchases a Fellowes Bankers Box completes and returns a redemption card, Fellowes will have a tree planted in a Global ReLeaf Heritage Forest. A total of 100,000 trees will go in the ground over the coming year.-- CINDY KRICK

Trees and electrical power are coming together with a unique partnership between AFA and the Edison Electric Institute (EEl), an association of 200 investor-owned utility companies.

EEl has joined AFA to present the Global ReLeaf for Energy Conservation program to EEI member utitities. The program offers utility companies a practical way to initiate a Global ReLeaf program in their service areas.

Global ReLeafs efforts with the utility industry include an outstanding program with West Penn Power Company. On March 9, West Penn, part of the Allegheny Power System, kicked off a program that will offer a grove of Famous and Historic Trees to all 400 munidpalities and 100 school districts in its service area over the next five years. West Penn President Jay S. Pifer notes that the program will include environmental education and promote energy conservation,



Business Week, the premier publication for the business community, has launched a program to bring the Global ReLeaf message to its readers. New subscribers will have a tree planted on their behalf in a Global ReLeaf Heritage Forest--to the tune of 5,000 trees. The new reader also receives a letter describing the various ways a company or individual can take part in Global ReLeaf.

During the coming year, Business Week is providing free advertising space to present a special message concerning corporate partnership opportunities offered by the Global ReLeaf campaign. --KURT REDENBO


URBAN Forests

AFA is proud to announce completion of the proceedings and video from the recent urban forest conference in Los Angeles. Alliances for Community Trees: Proceedings of the Fifth National Urban Forestry Conference is an easy-to-read reference on urban forestry and a comprehensive presentation of the wealth of knowledge gleaned at the meeting.

The conference attracted 950 peopie representing all 50 states and nine foreign countries. A video that helps capture the excitement generated by this diverse group is now available as well.

To order the proceedings, send $27.95, or for the video $25, plus $1 postage and handling for each item, to AFA, Urban Forestry Department, P.O. Box 2000, Washington, DC 20013. Special bulk rates are available.


Improving the livability of a neighborhood--both environmentally and socially--requires that residents work together. That's exactly what happened on a recent Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina, and Houston, Texas.

On Charleston's East Side, 160 volunteers--including six policemen, members of two motorcycle clubs, politicians, and local schoolchildren-joined members of a local tree-planting group called Low country ReLEAF and AFA President Charles Tarver in planting a living legacy of 80 trees.

"Global ReLeaf is more about people than about trees," says Tarver, citing the Charleston project as a prime example. The Charleston event took place on the same day as another Texaco project--this one in Houston. As part of a long-range landscaping project on the grounds of Texas Southern University, 136 live oaks were planted by students, alumni, and faculty and staff members, along with Texaco employees. Though miles apart, the two plantings show that joining hands for bettering our communities knows no geographic boundaries.--LORI WRIGHT


To coincide with the opening of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, JAZZ ASPEN--sponsors of the Jazz Aspen festival-planted the first National Historic Jazz Grove in New Orleans. The site of the planting is Congo Square, a plot of land where slaves congregated in the late 19th century to play drums. The square is considered to be the birthplace of the earliest roots of jazz. The drums were made from native New Orleans trees, and descendants of those trees will be planted in the jazz grove.

The Classic Tree Company is gathering seeds from trees that have a link with jazz musicians. Seedlings grown from those seeds will be planted in similar jazz groves throughout the United States.--KAREN FEDOR

Heading South

On January 12-25, AFA is offering a customized tour to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Costa Rica. You will experience the peninsula's rich Latin culture, ancient Mayan ruins, agroforestry activities, and reforestation of the area devastated by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988.

Costa Rica, considered a leader of conservation efforts in the tropics, offers an exciting variety of forests and parks, active volcanoes, and plants and animals as we explore from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans.

To be put on a mailing list for information as it becomes available, write Bill Tikkala, AFA, P.O. Box 2000, Washington, DC 20013.


A new award to recognize outstanding nonprofit volunteer-based tree-planting organizations in the United States was announced recently by the Chevrolet/Geo Automobile Division of General Motors and the American Forestry Association together with the U.S. Forest Service.

The new award, "The Geo," will be awarded each year starting next November at AFA's annual meeting. The recipient will be selected by a panel of representatives from the Forest Service, AFA, and The Pearlman Group. The Geo is intended to be the highest recognition for a nonprofit urban forestry group. Applications for interested groups are available by calling 1-800-TREE-GEO.


Nominations for Global ReLeaf's third annual Jean Giono Award are now being solicited. The deadline is July 1.

The winner of the award, which carries a $1,000 prize, will be selected on the basis of his or her accomplishments in improving the environment by planting and caring for trees, as well as demonstrated perseverance, vision, and motivation.

Nominations should include the following information: nominee's name, address, and phone number, one-page biographical sketch, and narrative summary of the nominee's contributions supported by news clippings, photos, or other documentation. Also, please include the nominator's name, address, and phone number. Send nominations to Jean Giono Award, Global ReLeaf, P.O. Box 2000, Washington, DC 20013.--KAREN FEDOR


AFA Vice President Donald Willeke has been named to the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council by Secretary of Agriculture Edward Madigan. As a member of the 15-member council, the Minneapolis attorney and environmentalist will advise the Secretary on the development of a national plan for urban forestry, including criteria for a challenge cost-share program.

Willeke is chairman of the National Urban Forest Council, a 10-year-old organization of urban forest leaders from business, government, and citizen organizations.


On February 27, AFA presented testimony to two House committees on President Bush's fiscal year 1993 funding proposals for the U.S. Forest Service. AFA's Vice President for Urban Forestry Gary Moil appeared before House Interior Appropriations chairman Sid Yates of Illinois, while AFA's Vice President for Resource Policy Gerry Gray testified before the House Interior Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands chaired by Congressman Bruce Vento of Minnesota.

AFA's statement praises the strong funding proposals for tree planting and forest improvement under the President's America the Beautiful initiative, but expresses deep concern about cuts in the research budget in "times which call for better scientific information to help resolve contentious debates over natural-resource management." The testimony calls special attention to critical forest-health concerns in the northern intermountain region that require more research and immediate management action.
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Title Annotation:AFA Today; American Forestry Association
Author:Gangloff, Deborah
Publication:American Forests
Date:May 1, 1992
Previous Article:Trees 'n sneeze.
Next Article:Can trees really help fight global warming?

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