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Heeding the call of climate solutions organization 350.org, on Sunday a group of Monterey Institute students and faculty joined members of the MIIS chapter of Net Impact and students from Santa Catalina High School in Monterey to work on a reforestation project at Fort Ord. Central to the project was collecting acorns which will be raised initially at the Monterey Institute’s Our Green Thumb organic garden. A year from now, the group will return to plant the seedlings at Fort Ord as part of a community effort to restore the forests at the former military base, now overseen by the Federal Bureau of Land Management.

The Fort Ord reforestation project is one component of the Monterey Institute’s broader efforts to make its campus carbon neutral by 2016. By planting over 300 trees, the group will offset some the school’s carbon emissions. Noah Lichtenstein (MAIEP ’11) of the MIIS Sustainability Council says: "One of the coolest things about this project is that students will actually get to see our carbon neutrality efforts first hand when they visit Fort Ord and enjoy the shady oaks years from now."

350.org is an international organization founded by Bill McKibben, the celebrated author and scholar in residence at Middlebury College, aiming to “unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis.” This year on 10/10/10 the organization threw a global work party encouraging people around the world to band together on carbon emissions reduction projects. In Auckland, New Zealand there was a giant bike fix-up day, to get every bicycle in the city back on the road. In Kampala, Uganda they planted thousands of trees, and in the Maldives, they put up solar panels on the President’s Office.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir