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A look back: 2018 Highlights


1.  Over 20,000 more people helped through 9 new projects.

Thanks to your support, we opened 9 more Forest Garden projects this year which means about 20,000 more people are being planted out of poverty. These 20,000 people consist of Forest Garden farmers and their families.

2. Over 3,000 more acres restored through 9 new projects.

The majority of farmers in our program were using destructive farming techniques before implementing the Forest Garden Approach. Each Forest Garden typically consists of 1 -3 acres that are revitalized with by planting trees, shrubs, and crops that nourish the land and sequester Carbon.

3. We surpassed all of our food security and nutritional goals through the Forest Garden Approach.

Take a look at page 11 of our Impact Report and you will see the incredible goals we have surpassed for food security and nutrition.  This means families are no longer going to bed hungry and have a much more diversified diet that brings them better health and wellness.

4. We launched the Forest Garden Training Center (FGTC).

We are thrilled to be connecting Forest Garden trainers worldwide through technology. TREES’ Forest Garden Training Center is an open-source, digital training platform that is poised to certify thousands of change-makers worldwide! With the new online Forest Garden Training Center,  anyone, anywhere, can learn everything they need to know to bring the Forest Garden Approach to their land and their community. In the first six months of the Forest Garden Training Center going online, we attracted over 3,000 participants and the community keeps growing. Additional investments are in development which includes online learning cohorts, and the first-ever Forest Garden app for release in 2019. We invite everyone, everywhere to get certified at and bring this life-changing program to the communities and people you touch.

5. Tony Robbins and the Tony Robbins Foundation planted 5 million trees for Earth Day and wants others to join in.

In 2018, we were able to expand our impact by planting millions of additional trees thanks to the support from New York Times #1 best-selling author, philanthropist, and expert life and business strategist Tony Robbins. Robbins announced his support of TREES on his birthday as part of his top philanthropic goals. Over the next few years, Robbins and his Foundation, The Tony Robbins Foundation, have set a goal to plant up to 20 million trees. An initial seed amount of 5 million trees was made earlier in March to TREES which will go to farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Robbins encourages others to match his tree planting goals and join in on making an impact.

6. John Leary’s book, One Shot: Trees as our last chance of survival won a 2017 Nautilus Award for the Ecology and Environment Category.

Drawing on fifteen years of humanitarian work with communities on the verge of collapse, John Leary conveys how restoring agricultural lands with a diverse combination of trees and crops is the answer to reversing desertification, water scarcity, hunger, poverty, climate change, and forced migration. One Shot takes readers on an evolving journey from the peanut fields of Africa to the cornfields of America; connecting seven of the world’s most pressing challenges to farming practices, and offering the revival of forest gardens as a core agricultural solution. This year, One Shot won a prestigious a 2017 Nautilus Award for the Ecology and Environment Category. Get your copy on Amazon!

7. We launched a new Forest Garden project in Kenya.

In 2018, we started a new Forest Garden project in Homa Bay, Kenya consisting of 510 farmers that will be planted out of hunger and poverty.

8. We launched a new Forest Garden project in Tanzania.

In Mughanga, Tanzania, we started working with 30 farming families to establish Forest Gardens to improve their livelihood.

9. We launched our first Forest Garden project in Guinea.

This year we were thrilled to start growing Forest Gardens in a new country- Guinea! The region of  Donguel-Sigon suffers from deforestation and long dry spells which lead to seasonal hunger. We are working with about 50 farmers to transform their land and their lives.

10. We launched 5 new Forest Garden projects in Senegal.

Word of the Forest Garden transformation continues to spread in Senegal and the demand is high. We were thrilled to no longer have to turn away over 1,200 farmers thanks to our supporters. We opened new projects in Kaffrine and Kounghel.

11. Trees for the Future and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) began a collaboration.

In support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNITAR and Trees for the Future (TREES) subscribed a Memorandum of Understanding which will serve as a cooperative framework to develop and implement training activities. In June, TREES and UNITAR held a conference at the UN Headquarters and plan to hold additional training conferences in 2019. Stay tuned!

12. We launched our 2018 Impact Report and officially set our Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG).

We have found the solution, and we need to share it with the world and work with like-minded organizations to replicate best practices for a sustainable future. TREES’ big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG) is to break the cycle of poverty and eradicate hunger for 1 million people by planting 500 million trees in 125,000 Forest Gardens by 2025. Our Forest Garden Approach has reached over 28,000 farmers so far. To reach our BHAG, TREES will be scaling access to our knowledge through our Forest Garden Training Center so that all partners, NGOs, and communities can learn from what our nearly 30 years of experience has taught us and change agriculture from being the most destructive force on earth to being a force for regeneration and restoration.

13. Google realizes the power of trees.

We are so happy to be working with Forest to make our planet a greener place! Google featured five successful founders and how they are generating positive social impact with their apps on Google Play. Check out the feature with Google!

14. We graduated 265 farmers out of poverty in Senegal.

In November, Trees for the Future (TREES) graduated the first two groups of farmers, consisting of 265 farming families, to go through a four-year regenerative agriculture program that teaches farmers to utilize agroforestry practices to drastically increase yields and incomes. The graduations were community-wide celebrations held in Kaffrine and Koungheul, complete with speeches from local leaders, theatrical performances, music, and dancing. Thank you for making this possible.

15. We launched our first ever drone monitoring and evaluation initiative to better understand our challenges and successes.

Trees for the Future’s Monitoring and Evaluation plan established many indicators to measure the impact of the Forest Garden Approach on food security, dietary diversity, economic resilience, and agricultural production. In a bid to empirically prove the environmental impacts of the Forest Garden, TREES began introducing drones in 2018 to monitor the annual development of participating fields. The products of the studies are photographic time-series of the Forest Gardens as well as a time-series of leaf area indices, which track the Forest Garden’s ability to store water and maintain microclimates. Stay tuned to learn more about our formal drone program release in early 2019!

16. We had our biggest #GivingTuesday yet.

Giving Tuesday is a movement to show the incredible impact we can make when we come together to give. This year, #GivingTuesday fell on November 27th and it was our biggest Giving Tuesday holiday ever. We were astounded by our supporters rallying together to plant trees and change lives. Some gave, some spread the word, our partner Displate matched donations up to $10,000, and together we proved that we are better united than apart. We raised over $35,000 which means we are able to reach more farmers and plant more trees faster than we ever could without our supporters.

17. We expanded our team.

In planting more trees and helping more people this year, our capacity grew to help support our farmers. We added 14 new field staff and 4 new HQ support staff to our team. These amazing new team members are passionate changemakers on a mission to end hunger, poverty, and deforestation.

18. We surpassed 155 million trees planted since 1989!

Thank you for making this possible!

Donate To Trees For The Future

Your donation has a direct impact on the earth and lives of the people who need it most. By helping us plant trees, you give families the ability to transition from unsustainable farming techniques to a Forest Garden system. Your donation not only sustains and empowers them, but also changes their lives forever.