Re-Greening Earth 1
Taking Green Lights for the Earth 2
We owe God everything, and taking good care of the Earth is our expression of gratitude to Him. - Don B. Balderas, Jr.
Today, as in the past moments, has made me busy contemplating on the schools' role as initiator of programs and projects especially along environmental protection and expressing concern for it. That is why, I am writing again to remind myself and everyone who must be reading this piece that the Earth needs care from us.
During the celebration of the 25th People Power Revolution in EDSA which was declared a working holiday for government employees, the students of Tambo National High School together with their teachers had deviated from the order of letting students have their rest day and occupied them to serve a day's work in the school's mini-forest to conduct tree planting activity.
Involved were actually senior students who are graduating from the Restructured Basic Education Curriculum and whose curriculum in the subject Citizen's Advancement Training (CAT) requires students to conduct community service and such service had to start in their respective schools. In our case, we had the activity in the school's mini-forest.
The school's curriculum has it prescribed especially in Science, Health, and other related subject areas that activities relative to enironmental protection and preservation be provided and implemented, hence the tree planting activity.
Said tree planting activity was made possible in partnership with Barit River Hydro-Electric Administration of Buhi who supplied the school with more than two hundred mahogany seedlings as their initial contribution with the understanding that the school shall maintain said mini-forest growing trees in the area and doing other improvement activities there.
For several times now, the said institution has been making its visit, monitoring the survival of the planted trees, suggesting improvement activities and giving additional inputs to sustain the mitigating activities to climate change and global warming.
It is then worthy to note that tree planting activities before was only up to compliance level but as to monitoring of the percentage of survival of the planted trees and replacing mortalities were not part of the activity.
This time, if ever schools have to engage in planting activities, said planted trees need periodic visits to find out which of them needs replacement and still augment the number planted especially on areas that have been depleted.
Through this, we make sure that our effort of re-greening the Earth is not put to waste as we honor our desire of making this place more habitable and healthy to live in.
As far as we are concerned, there has been an increasing clamor from the undergraduates to actively participate in the same activity because they see a future when the school is not just a place of learning but a place where the benefits of learning harmonize with the benefits of taking good care of the environment particularly in the school campus.
Said clamor has been recognized and plans of action are up.
Also, part of the program is the establishment of a school nursery to house seedlings that can be used in the future tree planting activities and can be supplied to other individuals and organizations who intend to do the same activity.
Certainly, the activity must only be the start of a series of community service especially that of planting more trees not just to comply with the curricular requirements of the school but to complement the local government's initiatives to pursue higher cause for advocating love for Mother Earth.
The Department of Education Division of Camarines Sur in response to a DepEd Order on planting million trees has started implementing the 'Isang Mag-aaral, Isang Puno' Project. Obviously, all students in the province enrolled in the Basic Education Curriculum are expected to take part.
Just like what the Barit administration does, a monitoring and evaluation mechanism shall be in place to ensure that said project will be sustained including structures, division and school based, have to be organized and properly oriented on their roles and functions.
Furthermore and very recently, the provincial government of Camarines Sur with Gov. Luis Reymund F. Villafuerte spearheaded a simultaneous tree planting activity in all the municipalities dotting the province with multisectoral participation even breaking the Guinness Book of World Record. This was attended by no less than His Excellency President Benigno "Noynoy" C. Aquino.
For the constituents of the province, this is one inspiring activity that needs sustainability efforts that must come from no less than themselves.
The Over Emphasis
So much has been preached about the benefits about tree planting activities in the community. That with such over emphasis as it is now being done in the schools, only very few respond because perhaps, people are preoccupied by many activities in their personal and professional lives.
But I say again, this over emphasis on the matter, as it is true in all of our concerns, will serve us the purpose that when we take good care of the Earth, we are actually taking good care of ourselves. That when we express kindness to the Earth, we are actually being and becoming kind to ourselves.
Doing Our Share
The schools can really do so much to plan, initiate, and implement programs and projects especially on mitigating the harsh effects of climate change and global warming expecting that people in the community will recognize its importance and signify their intention to take good care, maintain and sustain them.
The huge responsibility each one has to take now rests on our acceptance and action.
Shared responsibility is simply an expression of loving care and caring love. Don B. Balderas Jr.