Tree-Generation Fest 2020
Tree-Generation Fest is dedicated to engaging youth in positive and connective ways, even in this time of COVID.
Inspired by Tewa Women United’s “Regeneration Fest Española,” which was held at the Española Healing Foods Oasis every fall for the past four years, Tree-Generation Fest is about holding space for young people to know that they are loved and cared for by their community. We are proud to collaborate with the Northern Youth Project on this project.
Thanks to the generosity of many donors, during the month of October 64 youth and their families were given trees as well as companion plants as part of this inaugural Tree-Generation Fest. Participants are from rural regions in northern New Mexico ranging from Abiquiu to Espanola, several Pueblos, Chamisal, Taos, Las Vegas, and Los Alamos.
We were also able to provide trees and plants to five beloved community organizations: Northern Youth Project, Breath of My Heart, Honor Our Pueblo’s Existence (HOPE), Flowering Tree Permaculture, and Buenos Para Todos.
Every participant received a tree, two companion plants, and three seed packets. They participated in an online educational tutorial meeting on tree care that also drew connections to the spirit of Regeneration Fest. They were invited to consider what makes up our “companions” as community and people that help us to thrive and support and care for each other. A Zoom event included a live music performance by Lyla June Johnston.
Participants are currently in the process of turning in their creative responses to this project as a form of assessment and integration of learning.
We purchased the trees from Tooleys Trees and Plants of the Southwest, who also donated in-kind trees and plants totaling approximately $850 along with resources and educational materials. Special thanks and gratitude to Tooley’s Trees and Plants of the Southwest for your support and sponsorship!
It is estimated that these 80 trees and berries will increase our collective communities’ food capacity to 15,000 – 16,000 pounds of fresh fruit each season in the near future. The companion plants will also contribute by providing a source for herbal remedies, and will support pollinators and other wildlife as well as help build healthy soils.
We raised a total of $8,867 for Tree-Generation Fest thanks to individual community donors, as well as TWU’s A’Gin Project, who helped us purchase the first round of plantings. The total includes a generous grant from the Nell Newman, Inc. Foundation for $3,500, which will be used to seed the continuation of this project for Spring or Fall 2021 for a whole new round of tree and plant distribution!