David Kidd: He's never met a seedling he didn't want to plant
On the face of it, Wangari Maathai
and David Kidd
might not seem to have much in common.
One is a former Vietnam veteran and Transcendental Meditator; the other was a social justice and women's rights campaigner from Kenya who was the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Yet both had an abiding passion and concern. They both feared the collapse of the world's ecosystems and the advent of global warming, and both found an answer to it: They planted trees. Millions of them. David Kidd planted twelve million trees throughout the United States as part of his American Free Tree program. Wangari Maathai planted forty million trees throughout Kenya with the Green Belt Movement, her grassroots environmental and civil rights movement that not only reforested whole swathes of her country but was instrumental in overturning the corrupt regime that ruled Kenya for twenty-five years.
Kidd and Maathai were both Arbor Day Foundation award winners and both understood that planting trees didn't have to be left to the experts. Anyone could do it. They also knew that something happens when you plant a tree: it stimulates a reverence for, and love of, the planet that can drive not only you, but everyone involved with your ideals, to work harder for their community, their county, their state, their country, and beyond that for the planet as a whole. You can visit each of their websites, linked with their names at the beginning of this entry, to support their work.
In Growing America
, David Kidd reveals the secrets behind effective community organizing and how to transform the desolate and polluted corners, medians, and sidings of the US into green and productive land. In The Green Belt Movement
, Wangari Maathai reveals the struggles and triumphs of her campaign to reforest Kenya and how you can start your own Green Belt Movement campaign. Both books save trees as well. They are published, like many Lantern Books, on at least fifty percent post-consumer waste, chlorine-free, recycled paper!
For more on World Environment Day, click here