Posted on Apr 22, 2018
In July 2017, at the beginning of this Rotary year, Rotary International President Ian Riseley issued a challenge: for every Rotary club to plant one tree for each Rotary member. His goal in doing so was twofold. The first goal was obvious: trees are good for us. They absorb carbon and release oxygen, they support biodiversity, they improve our soil, our climate, and our moods. We need more of them, and planting trees is a wonderful project for all Rotary clubs to do together.
On another level, he asked Rotarians to plant their trees by Earth Day to raise awareness of issues that are too rarely mentioned in Rotary. While not an area of focus, the environment is a physical reality that underpins every area of Rotary’s work, and we ignore its health at our peril.
Often, opening our eyes and our thinking to environmental issues means moving from a mindset of reaction, to one of prevention. Is it better to provide a community with an alternative to contaminated water—or to use a sanitation project to keep contaminants out of the water to begin with? Is it better to treat children with respiratory issues from indoor cooking fires, or to help prevent those illnesses—and slow deforestation—by helping families find other ways to cook their meals? The answers are obvious, and the reasoning behind them should be applied to all of our work. If we want to build a better, healthier, and more peaceful world, we need a healthy planet to do it on.
So, on Earth Day, members of the Rotary Club of Plymouth AM came together to plant 20 trees donated by Kankakee Nursery, one of Christensen’s Plant Center suppliers in Plymouth on the property of New Morning School in Plymouth. We accepted Ian Riseley’s challenge and are very happy to report that we rose to the challenge and we worked to make our world a better, healthier place!