Our Story

How It All Started

In the early 1970’s, Dave and Grace Deppner served as volunteers in the Philippines, where they witnessed the human tragedy brought on by illegal logging and unsustainable land management systems. Working with community leaders in nearby villages, the Deppners found a way to offer hope. They revitalized lands by providing farmers with tree seeds, technical training, and on-site planning assistance.

After returning to the U.S. from their overseas assignments they continued what they had started, communicating by mail with the project leaders and providing seeds, information, and training materials. On August 14, 1989, Trees for the Future was officially incorporated as a public charity.

Since then, 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.

Getting to 30 Years

Today, Trees for the Future is implementing the scalable and replicable Forest Garden Approach in a focused region to affect measurable change. Trees for the Future is working closely with farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa to establish Forest Gardens – planting 50+ species of trees, dozens of shrubs, fruit trees, and 12+ vegetables on a typical farm.

Letter from our Executive Director on our 30th Anniversary

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