Sometimes to plant a seed of ecological awareness, you just have to literally go plant. The staff of Perfect Earth Project Azuero’s Education Program took this to heart and took action during July, as they completed reforestation projects with four different schools and communities of the Azuero region.
The reforestation projects were part of the program’s Spider Monkey Education Initiative 2015, which has focused on soil quality, and the very real and negative effects of soil degradation. With six different schools, the program teaches how deforestation and loss of biodiversity hurts the soil, increasing drought risk and watershed contamination. These consequences are a reality for the students, as Panama, and especially the Azuero Peninsula experiences a severe drought as a consequence of deforestation.
Realizing the best classroom can be outdoors, the program used the reforestation projects to supplements the curriculum and inspire the kids to action. Waiting for enough rain to create sufficient soil conditions, the project planted more than 150 trees with the schools of Oria Arriba, Colan, Los Asientos and Bajo Corral.
The number of trees may be small in comparison to national reforestation projects, but the impacts of our project will be big. We are excited to watch the seeds of the trees we planted grow in each school, but we are even more excited to watch the seeds of environmental compassion grow in each of the students. It is a seed which causes these future landowners to think critically about their environment, and ultimately take actions which lead to a healthier environment, a better life and a preserved Azuero Peninsula.