If you’re up for a challenge, we have just the thing for you! From 1st to 9th April, we’re organising the Mount Kenya Tree Challenge – a chance to contribute to planting some of the 20 million trees we’re aiming to plant by 2024!
The Mount Kenya Tree Challenge is an opportunity to meet some inspiring grassroots environmental leaders. You will be spending a week with our local partners Mount Kenya Environmental Conservation (MKEC) on the ground, experiencing first hand their work. MKEC are our first community partner for this ambitious 10 year project. They have planted nearly 70,000 trees over the past few months, and will be planting thousands more in April.
Tree planting is taking place in deforested areas of Mount Kenya forest and on farms – and you will get the chance to participate in planting with the community during your stay. In fact, we’re challenging each participant to plant at least 100 trees! By the time the week is over, you’ll be able to identify different species of trees and their uses in reforestation and agroforestry.
The Mount Kenya Tree Challenge will also be a chance to discover some of the economic activities that take place around the forest. Much of the tea, coffee, vegetables and fruits we consume in the UK come from Kenya – and we will be visiting farms and factories where they are produced.
The Mt Kenya Forest is the most iconic of Kenya’s five great ‘Water Towers’. The second highest mountain in Africa, Mt Kenya rises to over 5,000 meters at the heart of the country. Capped by rock and glaciers, girdled by afro-alpine moorlands, bamboo and montane forests on its upper slopes, Mt Kenya is the source of many of Kenya’s most important rivers.
The forest itself is beautiful and home to remarkable (though elusive!) wildlife. But it is also damaged, and one of the largest holes in the forest is Magaca, deforested in the 1970s and 80s. The local community and the Kenya Forest Service are determined to restore the forest and all the ecological benefits it provides.
20 Million Trees is ITF’s Centenary Campaign, taking us back to our roots! Kenya is where Watu wa Miti – People of the Trees – was founded in 1922 by Richard St. Barbe Baker and Chief Josiah Njonjo. This environmental movement, based around tree planting, went on to spread to many countries around the world. 20 Million Trees aims to increase tree cover in Kenya and restore some of the country’s vital ‘Water Towers’ – important forests that provide water for rivers, lakes and human consumption.
Through replanting deforested areas and increasing tree cover on farms, 20 Million Trees will improve and conserve ecosystems as well as providing livelihoods for the surrounding populations.
We are excited to be able to offer you the possibility to experience the first steps of this ambitious project! If you’d like more details about the Mount Kenya Tree Challenge, please contact naomi [@] internationaltreefoundation.org.