Educational outreach is an important part of the LCHPP’s program. Each year environmental workshops and tree planting programs are presented by Jose Luis Alvarez and our local assistants in schools of the project areas. The objective is to foster good forest stewardship among children who will one day manage the forests. As part of this program, thousands of trees are given to children each year to plant on school or other public properties with the participation of parents and teachers. In addition, many children also receive a tree to plant by their homes. Technical support and seeds are given to schools to assist them in starting small greenhouses where children grow tree seedlings that they then plant on land by their schools and in their communities. Our Mexican partner, LCHPP-Mexico, has provided thousands of seeds to schools for their greenhouse project which was also supported by Reforestamos Mexico, A.C.
Educational initiatives our project has introduced into the schools have been incorporated into curricula that encompass forest ecology, watershed protection, and sustainable living from and with forests, while planning for future generations. LCHPP kicked off the 2012 reforestation efforts with an event at the “18th of March” Elementary School at San Juan Zitácuaro of the municipio of Zitácuaro, Michoacán. The 240 children planted 4,000 pine trees in about 3 hours with the help of 250 adults, including teachers, parents and local Ejidatarios. This location is outside of the city of Zitacuaro and close to a community called Salom, which is a staging area for the Monarchs.
Our educational outreach also reaches university students studying the natural sciences, and local forestry organizations. In May of 2012, 65 forestry students from the University of Chapingo, in Mexico City, were hosted at the nursery where our trees are produced. The students participated in a workshop on reforestation needs and status, and participated in a discussion of their role as future foresters in the environmental restoration of Mexico
Tree planting participants receive technical assistance throughout the growing cycle that increases their understanding of how to maintain their trees. This promotes an attitude of stewardship toward the forest. One of our goals is to create a series of illustrated pamphlets that expand upon our verbal instructions to increase our participants knowledge of forest management techniques. The first pamphlet was published in 2012 and is distributed to the community members who plant our trees. It is also available as a download on this website Manual Para Sembrar un Arbolito. The simple Spanish text and easy to interpret illustrations make the pamphlet easily accessible to people with various levels of formal education. It is printed on durable, weather-proof paper so the printed copies will last for years and can be easily shared by the participants.