Ethos is thrilled to announce the completion of our first sponsored tree planting project with our nonprofit partner, The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation.
Beginning last November and concluding last month, the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) and its nonprofit partner in Brazil, Olho d’Agua, planted and distributed more than 5,000 trees across the town of Mococa in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Ethos was a sponsor of the project.
FTPF is an award-winning nonprofit that works to strategically donate orchards where the needs are greatest. The project supports communities across the globe to help alleviate hunger, combat climate change, strengthen communities, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water.
FTPF has been working in the region since 2009, helping to support the town of nearly 70,000 residents. The latest planting brought fruit trees to eight schools and public places as well as approximately 200 families.
“We’re so honored to be able to continue to support the wonderful community in Mococa and work with the skilled tree planters at Olho d’Agua,” says FTPF co-creator and TreeEO Cem Akin. “Fruit trees bring so much more than food, they’re a source of joy for everyone involved in these projects, especially our team of volunteers,” he added.
“There is no better way to connect with your community, to connect with nature, and to bring so much happiness than by planting trees,” says Jill Ettinger, Ethos co-founder and CEO. “This work matters so much to so many and it’s our great honor to be able to help make projects like these possible.”
The project planted 45 types of region-appropriate and high-yielding fruit trees including chau chau, jatobá, jenipapo, ingá, angico, pau Brasil, paineira, pau viola, sibipiruna, acássia rosa, guatambu, cabreúva, pau d’alho, fruta do sabiá, and jurubeba.
During the project, FTPF staff and volunteers worked together with Olho d’Agua and more than 130 community volunteers and students to plant more than 1,000 trees. They also distributed a total of 3,891 trees directly to families.
The project also saw tree care workshops with more than 230 community members in attendance. The workshops were led by FTPF’s certified arborist and expert staff. Families and those managing the community planting projects learn about tree aftercare, how to achieve the highest yields sustainably, and other environmental lessons co-led by Olho d’Agua educators and FTPF.
The first event included 45 volunteers from the Boy Scouts and a youth group called the Desbraradores. They were planting nearby the River Rio Canoas in an effort to conserve land and stabilize the river banks.
“Trees are really important for our survival because they produce oxygen and fruits,” a student named Pedro said at the planting. Another student, Victoria, said she felt happy to “take care of the world.”
Adriana, who lives next to the new orchard said because it’s so hot in Mococa the town needs more trees.
“This is my first time planting and I’m out here because I live nearby and I know I’ll use the tree’s fruit. My son is 8 years old and he needs to see a forest, not an empty field,” she said.
One school project saw 272 trees planted with students and teachers. The school will use the fruits from the trees to help feed students and teach the children about the environment. One volunteer said the impact extends outside of school, too. “We have noticed when kids learn about the environment they force their parents to think about this at home,” she told FTPF.
On the last day of the planting, FTPF and Olho d’Agua visited a farm in transition from mostly cattle to more coffee and rewilding the land. Prior to the planting, workers installed fencing to protect the new trees planted along the river to help prevent erosion. The team was also able to see an area where 300 trees were planted the year before.
Joao Carlos Rodrigues, the Land Manager, explained: “We have always planted some trees next to the river but now we have made this a big focus…[a] focus on restoring the ecology of the land.” The location is at the headwaters of the River Canoas, and according to Rodrigues, without the trees, the river will not survive. The orchard is expected to support at least 500 residents.
The new project builds on FTPF’s success in the region. Recent surveys conducted of previous planting sites show a more than 90 percent success rate. FTPF says that during its recent visit with Olho d’Agua, teachers, parents, households, and schools all shared excitement about the changes the trees have brought to Mococa, including more birds and other wildlife, cooler temperatures, and all of the fresh fruit to eat.
School Director Rosa Maria Parotti, E.M.E.B. Alcebriades Quilice said the school is thankful for the projects because now the children have the opportunity to eat the fruit in its natural form, drink fresh juice, and get to “watch the plants and fruits grow and mature just as the children do.”
School Director Lydia, E.M.E.B. Lydia Pereira Lima Taliberti says the kids and teachers come to the orchards daily, “to be with the trees, to eat the fruit, and just enjoy the beautiful space that has been created … The whole environment here is better,” she said.
“When we came here there was nothing … no trees, no birds, nothing,” said School Director Marcia, E.M.E.B. Maria Belomo Zanetti.
“The trees have created all this shade and beauty, and we are teaching the kids to be grateful to the trees for these reasons,” Zanetti said. “We are happy too to receive fruit trees specifically because they feed us and also feed and attract the birds!”
To learn more or contribute to FTPF’s work, please visit the website.