TRESCO aims to raise awareness of the benefits and importance of tree planting among the students of seven schools, and within the surrounding communities. Awareness raising will be accompanied by practical training in tree nursery operations and tree planting within schools. Neighbouring households will also benefit from tree planting, improving the diversity of trees and crops on their land.
TRESCO will train at least 14 teachers and 14 parents in tree planting practice. The teachers will share this knowledge with the children attending the schools, and will incorporate their learning into lessons plans. The children will help to train their parents when they take tree seedlings home to plant. The 14 parents will share their know-how in tree planting with their neighbours. 22,350 trees will be planted in total, both by the school teachers and children, and by the rural households. Communities see the benefit of this project, and have agreed to actively engage in site preparation and weeding. An important aspect of the project is the inclusion of 350 grafted mango trees (50 at each school). Grafted mangoes can produce fruit within three years, and these will be an excellent source of nutrition for the children. In addition, seasonal crops such as beans will be planted between the rows of trees at the schools. This helps ensure that the trees are protected and weeded for their first two years. It will also maximise the potential of the plots, and provide the schools with additional produce for school meals. The trees planted at the schools will also act as windbreaks, improving the school micro-climate, reducing soil erosion and improving soil organic matter and fertility. Trees planted at home farms will form part of agroforestry systems, making the farms more diverse, resilient, productive and sustainable, as well as producing additional benefits such as fodder for livestock and habitat for beekeeping. Applying learning from the ASTREPP project, ‘Green Clubs’ will be created in the schools to champion tree planting and keep pupils engaged.