NGO encourages students to plant trees

Art of Conservation (AoC), a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Rwandan youth living near Volcanoes National Park on health and conservation issues, yesterday concluded a five-day tree planting exercise in Musanze District.
Eric Mutabazi shows the students a seedling of the tree during the exercise (Courtsey Photo)
Eric Mutabazi shows the students a seedling of the tree during the exercise (Courtsey Photo)

Art of Conservation (AoC), a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Rwandan youth living near Volcanoes National Park on health and conservation issues, yesterday concluded a five-day tree planting exercise in Musanze District.

Since Monday this week, 200 primary five students of Rushubi and Nyange I primary schools in Musanze, planted trees on their school grounds to help prevent soil erosion and beautify their schools.

The Aoc Director, Julie Ghrist, noted that rainforests cover only about six percent of the earth’s surface and are extremely diverse, containing over half of all known animal and plant species.

“Our work with the communities living just outside of the Volcanoes National Park include doing our best to keep this incredibly important ecosystem intact.  We are continuing to look for indigenous tree species seedlings for our students to learn about and plant,” Ghrist said.

“Farming in this hilly country causes topsoil erosion, but trees, when planted strategically, can reduce soil loss, which helps the land to be more productive.  By having our students plant trees, we hope they will learn to appreciate the great importance trees have in their lives, and also in the lives of wild animal species which need natural places and corridors for their safety and habitat.”

According to officials, the AoC class of 50 students planted a selection of agro forestry tree species in woodlots at their schools, each morning for four days.

The children will also be responsible for tending their seedlings and school administrators will ensure security so that seedlings are not stolen or eaten by domestic animals.

AoC seeks to fill the education gap in the local communities through its activities.

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