Happy Arbor Day!

The simple act of planting trees can go a long way towards combating soil erosion, habitat loss, water quality degradation, and even climate change. On SFS programs around the world, students join with community members in both large and small-scale plantings of indigenous seeds and saplings.

Enjoy these “before and after” photos from the paddock area of the SFS Center for Rainforest Studies in Australia. In the fall of 1993, SFS student Warren Goetzel snapped these images of his classmates as they planted 500 trees on a grassy hilltop. This now forest-covered area is nearly unrecognizable!

Ciara Legato, Student Affairs Manager in Australia, revisited the spot twenty years later to capture its transformation. Here’s what she wrote: “We (Center Director Amanda Freeman and I) hiked out to where the planting was back in ‘93, and it looked COMPLETELY different. The forest is huge, and dense, and not that easy to photograph.”