Posted by: tiffanytononi | January 24, 2010

Arbor Day Ceremony Marks Weeks of Tree Planting in the Sharhabil bin Hassneh EcoPark

Since 1939, January 15 annually marks Arbor Day for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. This year, celebrations and tree planting ceremonies took place all week, including a special ceremony on Wednesday, January 20, organized by FoEME’s Amman office at the Sharhabil bin Hassneh EcoPark in the Jordan Valley.

Over One Hundred People Gathered on January 20 to Celebrate Weeks of Tree Planting in FoEME's Sharhabil bin Hassneh Eco Park

FoEME celebrated weeks of tree planting with a ceremony involving well over one hundred people from seven different communities in the Jordan Valley. These communities included Dier Allah, Fifa, Hema, North Shouna, Sharhabil bin Hassneh, Sheikh Hussein, and South Ghors. Each community, all participants in the Good Water Neighbors project, was represented by members of FoEME’s field staff and dozens of youth.

FoEME’s Jordanian Director, Munqeth Mehyar, joined the governor of North Agwar, representatives of the Jordan Valley Authority (JVA), and mayors from Sheikh Hussein, Sharhabil bin Hassneh, and North Shouna, in praising the recent week of planting and the ongoing development of the EcoPark. Everyone spoke highly of the progress made since FoEME acquired the park in 2005. In particular, the JVA representatives, who have long been familiar with the land that is now the EcoPark, noted that prior to FoEME’s involvement the area had been totally neglected.

The governor and the mayors also commended the development of the EcoPark and drew connections between this project and the many speeches given by His Majesty, King Abdullah, imploring everyone to become involved in the greening of Jordan. The ceremony culminated with a final tree planting by FoEME staff members, government officials and representatives, youth, children, and other important members of the communities present.

A Newly Planted Tree Overlooking a Rehabilitated Area of FoEMEs Eco Park

Serendipitously, as the planting was coming to an end, it began to rain. Normally an unfortunate occurrence for outdoor events, rain was welcome on this day. In a country with an average annual rainfall of less than 200 mm, or 8 in, rain was actually a perfect addition to an event celebrating hundreds of newly planted trees. The rain continued until late in the evening, long after everyone had returned to their respective communities, giving the sapling trees a head start in their new home.

Click here for information on future development plans of the Sharhabil bin Hassneh Eco Park.

This post was written by FoEME intern Tiffany Tononi. Tiffany is based in FoEME’s Amman office. Photo Credit: Tiffany Tononi

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