At its semi-annual meeting, the board of Mennonite Men approved $121,000 for eleven grants to support tree-planting projects.
Among those receiving grants are two congregations in the U.S.: Blooming Glen (PA) and Harrisonburg (VA) Mennonite Churches. Both projects will reforest areas of these congregational properties.
Nine grants were awarded to Mennonite community projects outside the US: Commune of Allada (Benin), Kalonda Mission (DR Congo), Kwilu Provice (DR Congo), Mpukinsele Village (Angola), Muala Village (Angola), Sambo Communie (Angola), Tshilenge Territory (DR Congo), Quipindi Village (Angola), and Mukedi Community (DR Congo). Most of these international projects will provide seedlings both for long-term reforestation efforts and for short-term economic support of local communities that will learn sustainable forestry practices while earning income from the trees through fruit and charcoal-production (to reduce cutting trees in intact forests).
Once planted, trees from these 11 projects will bring the JoinTrees project to 301,373 trees planted in total, nearly 1/3 of its goal of one million trees by 2030.
"We weren't expecting this level of demand for funding of tree-planting projects," noted Steve Thomas, U.S. Coordinator of Mennonite Men and a certified arborist. "We're excited there is so much interest, especially internationally. Now we need to get to work raising funds for these important projects."
The goal of the project is to plant one million trees by 2030 to help restore God's Earth. Individuals, congregations, and businesses are invited to contribute to this project with funding or by initiating their own planting projects. Visit mennonitemen.org/jointrees for more details.