By: Franziska Elmer, PhD

Turks and Caicos Islands
Posted: May 7, 2019
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Faculty Post

The Wangari Maathai Memorial Garden


Introduction by Dr. Jim Cramer, SFS President:

During our visit to Kenya in January, I suggested to Center Director Moses Okello and Professor Kendi Borona that it would be an appropriate project to establish a memorial garden on the center grounds. As many of you know, Dr. Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan environmental and social justice activist and, among other things, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her many efforts and tireless work on behalf of others. She started the Greenbelt movement in the late 1970s, focused around planting trees to help stem soil erosion and restore green spaces to their former condition. Her movement then spread throughout Africa. I came to know her when she became a Trustee at World Learning during the time I served as president there. We had the occasion to work together both in Kenya and the US and it was my distinct privilege to have known her. She is an enduring source of inspiration for me. So please join me in celebrating the life of Wangari Maathai through the creation of a Memorial Garden bearing her name at our wonderful center in Kimana. We hope to have a formal dedication later this year joined by Wangari’s daughter and other officers of the Greenbelt Movement.

Update by Dr. Kendi Borona, Resident Lecturer in Human Dimensions of Conservation, Kenya

Warm greetings from Kilimanjaro Bush Camp! I am pleased to inform you that we did recently establish the Wangari Maathai Memorial Garden. All students and staff participated in planting trees under the leadership of Prof. Okello. We have started out with 60 fruit trees (oranges, mangoes, lemons), and will add more fruit and indigenous trees in due course. It was a really good opportunity to replenish the earth, and I think I can speak for all when I say we all greatly enjoyed it. The space we have set aside can accommodate up to 300 trees. We had to fence off the garden because the resident dik diks have been eating the other seedlings on the property. We are also thinking on the best way to water the seedlings using an efficient irrigation system.















→ Wildlife and Water Studies in Kenya

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