Over the past 29 years, TREES has planted over 155 million trees and gained experience in solving the problems people face to survive on degraded lands in more than 60 nations across Asia, Africa, and the Americas. In that time, we have gone through extensive research and developed practical solutions, requiring little or no out-of-pocket expenses from the people living on these devastated lands. These solutions help restore their degraded land to sustainable productivity.
In the 1990s, TREES focused mainly on crafting technical “how-to” instructions that show—simply—how any community can start a tree planting project. We identified the best tree species and trained communities to grow and plant millions of trees around the world, all from the home basement of their founder, Dave Deppner. In 1999, TREES operations moved into the Loret Miller Ruppe Center for Sustainable Development in Silver Spring, Maryland. There, we spent the next 13 years improving and expanding our technical expertise and making more appropriate technologies available to community leaders throughout the developing world. We tested and introduced new species of trees and documented how to avoid the consequences of planting the wrong species under the wrong conditions. These experiences gave TREES our strength in working directly with farmers in the field and sharing with them our experiences and lessons learned. TREES developed and distributed a wide variety of training resources, fliers, training videos, technical sheets, publications, manuals, and posters. We also provided tree planting starter kits and electronic resources such as agroforestry libraries and e-learning modules. Planting millions of trees in a wide variety of countries, cultures, and contexts over 29 years helped us identify the most effective ways to end hunger, poverty, and land degradation. We codified these best practices into our single greatest tool—The Forest Garden Approach (FGA). We are proving that the FGA, a simple, scalable, tree-based farming system, has the power to permanently change millions of lives.
As you can see, Trees for the Future is heavily invested into the mission to replenish trees all around the world. We are beyond excited for our partnership and the impact we get to make for generations to come.