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Replant Native Trees in Peru

Item # 41235

Bring the expanding deserts of western Peru, "the driest place on Earth," back to life.

The Peruvian city of Ica was once surrounded by huarango, a tree that gave life to the famous Nazca society. This mesquite relative is as beautiful as it is useful. Huarango pods can be used as fodder for livestock, ground into flour for human consumption, sweetened into molasses, or even fermented into beer. The light yellow flowers are a haven for bees, and the tree itself helps capture seasonal floodwaters on their way from the Andes to the Pacific, supporting humans, animals, and plants.

But the struggling people of Ica turned in desperation to the trees, cutting them down for charcoal to sell and use in the cities. Now, 98% of the great forest is gone. Without the life-giving properties of the trees, the cleared land is fast becoming uninhabitable desert. The soil has degraded for lack of nutrients that the trees once provided, and is unable to support most plant life. Without the great roots and boughs to protect them, streams, lakes, and lagoons are drying up, leaving arid deserts that spread across the land and cannot support the diversity that once thrived there.

Peru's people suffer as well. The clearing of huarango forests has been suggested as a major factor in the complete collapse of the Nazca society, intensifying the effects of flooding, erosion, and desertification. Without the huarango to bind moisture and counter erosion, the modern inhabitants of western Peru now face the same threat — even as desperate villagers continue to harvest the remaining trees for charcoal.

You can help. Trees for Cities (TFC) is working with local non-profit organization ANIA (Association for Children and the Environment) not only to reintroduce the huarango tree through planting of new seedlings, but also to change public perceptions as to its importance. TFC helps people develop sustainable livelihoods based around the huarango tree, and to understand their true economic and ecological value. TFC hopes to plant 4,000 trees in the 2010/11 year, at the remarkably low cost of only $1 per tree.

Your donation through this Gift That Gives More™ plants 15 native huarango trees in and near the Peruvian city of Ica, helping reverse desertification of the region.


Report from the Field in Ica, Peru

Tierra de los Ninos

Trees for Cities' project in the desert city of Ica, the driest habitable place on earth, is having an impact where it matters most.

This generation of the city's children has a chance to break the cycle of mismanagement that has seen the destruction of 98% of the natural huarango forest. Children involved in our 'Tini' program (Tierra de los Niños) get their very own small vegetable plot, along with a new huarango tree to protect their life supporting produce. The children in the program are learning skills that will enable them to be self-sufficient and environmentally aware.

The huarangos are vital and donations through this Gift That Gives More™ are bringing them and the people of Ica back to life. Thank you for your help!


Trees for Cities works with local communities on tree-planting and landscaping projects. Its aim is to tackle global warming, create social cohesion and beautify cities through tree planting, community education, and training initiatives in urban areas of greatest need.


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100% of your donation will go to the program described above as a grant through GreaterGood.org. GreaterGood stores do not receive any profit from donations through this Gift That Gives More™; we bring it to you in the spirit of the greater good. We even pay the credit card transaction fee, so every cent of your donation goes to charity.

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