WATERTOWN, Mass.—You’ve probably heard that Armenia Tree Project (ATP) has planted nearly 5 million trees over the past 21 years. Tens of thousands more trees are being planted this spring.
What you probably don’t know is how this program operates. “We have three nurseries where we grow all of the trees that ATP plants in communities around Armenia and Artsakh,” explains ATP Executive Director Jeanmarie Papelian. “Our fruit and decorative trees are grown in nurseries in the villages of Karin and Khachpar, while our reforestation seedlings are grown in the Mirak Family Nursery in Margahovit Village. These nurseries provide full-time employment for 35 people, creating important co-benefits for the community.”
For years, visits to the ATP nurseries have been one of Armenia’s “best-kept secrets,” but the new leadership team has opened up the organization to the public more and more each year. “For 2016, we are planning a series of tours to our flagship nursery in Karin Village, where guests can tour the site, meet our committed staff, and even learn how to graft a fruit tree,” says ATP Country Director Lucineh Kassarjian. “We’re excited to open our doors to the public, whether it’s a family visiting Armenia, a young volunteer in the Birthright program, or a local resident who has lived in Armenia all her life.”
“We want everyone to join us to learn, enjoy, and ask questions. Our team is very skilled and personable, and anyone who has visited leaves inspired,” notes Papelian. “Our theme for this year is ‘Get Rooted,’ and it is centered around these visits and planting trees either on the ground or virtually via our website.”
The next ATP tours are scheduled for April 29, May 30, June 5, Sept. 5, Oct. 1, and Nov. 1. Other dates may be available. ATP encourages readers to contact its Watertown or Yerevan office to join these Get Rooted tours, and to be a part of this movement to create a green future.
Since its inception in 1994, ATP has planted more than 4.9 million trees, established 3 nurseries and 2 environmental education centers, and has greened villages, churches, parks, and open spaces throughout Armenia. In the process, the organization has provided employment for hundreds of people and provided vital resources to thousands of villagers.
For more information, visit www.armeniatree.org.
Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West