Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reforestation Experience

Dina Bredahl sent this special experience for us to share with you.

Each of us has been very affected by things we have seen and experienced on this trip. One thing that really hit home for some of us was having the opportunity to plant a tree as part of the reforestation project. The gravity of habitat loss issues facing orangutans can seem overwhelming at times. The chance to plant a tree and have a positive impact was extremely special. We each named our tree. One of the trees was named “MaryAnn” to honor a former staff member of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Mary Ann O’Connell, whose passion for reforestation of orangutan habitat and research skills have made their mark with orangutan conservation at CMZ.

We saw reforestation sites that were in different stages of maturity, and we learned so much about the investment each tree requires. It is a relief to know that the KOCP reforestation team will monitor, care for and protect each tree we planted during the next several years. We saw trees that were planted two years ago and some were over twenty feet tall! Their protective electric fence (to keep elephants at bay when the seedlings were small) is gone now and the team will continue to remove strangling vines over the next couple of years.

Seedling nursery for reforestation.

Mary Ann O'Connell

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