John Leary, Executive Director, Trees for the Future


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Our mission is to end hunger and poverty by training farmers to regenerate their land. We lose trees at a rate of 50 soccer fields per minute as our food systems destroy our ecosystems. Most of this degradation occurs in the developing tropics of Africa, Latin America, and South and Southeast Asia where hundreds of millions of chronically-hungry, smallholder farming families unknowingly use destructive and short-sighted agricultural practices that further degrade their communities trees, soil, water and biodiversity, making them even more likely to migrate and more vulnerable to the climate changes that lie ahead. It becomes a cycle.

Our Forest Garden Program is a simple, replicable, and scalable approach with proven success. How? It starts with trees. Through our 4-year training program, called the Forest Garden Approach, farmers plant thousands of trees that protect and bring nutrients back to the soil. This helps farmers grow a variety of fruits and vegetables. Forest Garden farmers gain increases in income and access to food, even in the first year, all while improving the environment. Trees for the Future (TREES) will break the cycle of poverty and hunger for 1 million people by planting 500 million trees in 125,000 Forest Gardens by 2025. To that end, TREES will execute on three programmatic pathways: expansion of existing Forest Garden projects, collaboration with partner organizations, and replication of our model through the Forest Garden Training Center.


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