Tuesday, July 28, 2009

planting trees

As you might recall from my previous post, there’s a whole big section of Bangkok not far from where we live that’s all green and jungley still. I enjoy bike riding there, and trading the noise and tumult of big bad city-living for the sensory cacophony of birdsongs, green and textured plants, winding pathways, eddying waters, and fresh breezes.

I’m not the only one to notice the green plants and fresh breezes part: the area acts as a lung and liver for the poisons of the city, filtering out at least some of the pollution in the air and water. In order to further this cleansing, a young Thai woman (who’s also a student at Phillip Exeter Academy in NH) has founded The Giving Greens, an organization that buys green lands in order to protect them from development, runs nurseries to provide native plants to further propagate the greenness, and educates and encourages local residents to plant more trees.

This weekend, invited by an Australian in the know, we went to one of their tree-planting days. It was super-fun: we planted something like 1,000 trees, extending the green border just a little further into the city. The planting was muddy and very satisfying work, made easy by the pre-dug holes. The excellently-organized event also included charming dancing by the schoolkids resident in the green area, a feast of superb local food, free awesome t-shirts, and a great group bike-ride to the local floating market. Couldn’t really ask for more: I almost felt like I was getting away with something, not working hard enough and having too much fun.

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