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Planting Trees With Live58


Written by Plant With Purpose on December 19, 2012 in General

Last week, a community “reforestation brigade” joined together to plant 300 mahogany trees on the hillsides above Kilometer 61, Dominican Republic. 

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In an effort to fight the effects of deforestation, the Dominican government has been working to plant trees in vulnerable areas. Years ago, they invited Plant With Purpose to partner with them in these efforts. Great strides have been made in these local communities as the percentage of deforested land in the Dominican Republic has decreased from 36% to 39%. 

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The tools of the reforestation brigade are simple: a machete, a post whittled from a branch for digging holes, and an additional stick to compact the soil around the seedling. These simple tools are helping to solve the complex problem of deforestation.


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“Trees are close to my heart,” says Leoncio de los Santos, head of the reforestation brigade. 

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“Water is life and trees bring water,” says Ramón Cabrera Castro, the mayor of Kilometer 61. 

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Image: Cody McCarthy, Color Red Media

This hillside lies strategically between two streams, the beginning of the watershed that provides water to the capital city of Santo Domingo. Through watershed restoration projects, Plant With Purpose has seen an average 25% reduction of the incidence of waterborne illness—the biggest killer of children under 5.  

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These trees will: 

• Anchor the soil, preventing landslides during heavy rains  
• Filter contaminants from the air and water 
• Provide organic mater to increase soil nutrients
• Allow rain to infiltrate the soil, replenishing the water table and lessening the threat of flooding 
• Pump out oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide
• Create a cooling effect through providing shade and transpiration (release of water through leaves)
• Once mature, the wood will be sustainably harvested providing income for the community below

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In April 2012, as part of the Live58’s Global Impact Tour, people gave money for watershed restoration in the Dominican Republic. These funds helped communities to plant 90,000 trees. A complete video report for the project will be posted in the next couple of weeks. Here is a teaser of the tree planting efforts that took place last week.  


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