Challenge deforestation. Steward the earth. Empower women. In 1976, Dr. Wangari Maathai P’94, P’96, Sc.D.’94 planted a single tree, beginning a grassroots movement that would do all of these things and more.
In the 30 years since, Maathai and the Green Belt Movement have helped women plant more than 40 million trees across Africa, significantly improving the environment and curtailing the devastating effects of deforestation and desertification.
“The planting of trees is the planting of ideas. By starting with the simple act of planting a tree, we give hope to ourselves and to future generations,” says Maathai, whose efforts earned the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
You can join Maathai at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, outside of Demarest Hall on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus as she plants an Asian flowering Kousa Dogwood in celebration of Earth Week.
Later in the evening, Maathai will speak about her work as a guest of the President’s Forum series and will receive the Elizabeth Blackwell Award at 7:30 p.m. in the Smith Opera House. Shuttles will cycle from Medbery Parking Lot (by the FedEx Box) and the Smith Opera House beginning at 6:45 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.