by Jeanmarie Papelian
What does "Get Rooted" mean to you? We've noticed people getting excited about the slogan, whether it's an auditorium bursting full of students in Glendale or a group of third graders touring our nursery in Karin Village on a class trip.
It was a remarkable year for ATP. We organized six group tours of our Karin Nursery under the banner of our Get Rooted theme, as well as many smaller excursions to show off our work. Visitors planted trees at a new park we established in the town of Ashtarak, which is quite close to our nursery. If you plan to visit Armenia, drop me a line so we can arrange a visit.
Another highlight was hosting the ArmComedy duo of Narek Margaryan and Sergey Sargsyan for three benefit shows in the US. It was their first time performing here, and all three shows were sold out with people wanting more. To cap it off, they made an appearance on the CONAN show and we got one of the greatest shout-outs of all time on national television (click here to view)!
It's all a sign that ATP is at the forefront of issues that affect our lives, whether it's climate change, finding a good shade tree to relax under in summer, or making an investment in a cause that will bring untold benefits to our children and grandchildren.
We're focused on trees and people. Improving the environment for future generations, educating people about the importance of our natural infrastructure, and providing a livelihood for people in rural areas.
Environmental education is one of our core program areas. We host thousands of students annually at our nurseries in Karin and Margahovit, where we offer hands-on lessons about nature and healthy living. We train teachers on how to use our "Plant an Idea, Plant a Tree" curriculum in their classroom, and it is a guidebook for them to establish eco clubs in their local community.
This summer, we partnered with the Peace Corps to introduce youth eco camps in five communities, which were a huge success. And, in the diaspora, our award-winning Building Bridges program brings some of these resources to Armenian students in the US and other countries. We think it’s a winning formula for helping to protect the trees we are planting today.
Of course, we're most known for our tree planting and our results on the ground. Our Forestry and Community Tree Planting teams wrapped up the fall projects in more than 80 sites all over Armenia and Artsakh. We planted another quarter-of-a-million trees in Armenia, bringing the total to nearly 5.5 million trees!
I travel to Armenia two or three times a year. One of the things that struck me when meeting our team members is how many of them share similar stories of life in rural Armenia. Several of them told me how their jobs with ATP are the only thing that gives them hope, and keeps them from having to emigrate to other countries to work.
After hearing so many of these stories, we decided to feature some of our people in our 2018 calendar. We included portraits of them in the villages where we have nurseries and education centers, as well as a short summary of their life experiences. We are offering this calendar as a thank you gift for donations at the level of $100 or more. Please consider a gift during this holiday season.
Our tree planting certificates are a popular gift around the Christmas season. Plant a Grove for $200, an Arbor for $800, or even a single tree, and we will send a personalized certificate to the recipient of your choice. And your donation will help to provide green jobs for dozens of hard-working people in Armenia.
Thank you for your time and consideration during this season of giving. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!