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Nita Smith is the Conservation Coordinator for the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust. The Trust's vision is to: Protect and restore the native biodiversity of the Wakatipu Basin through revegetation projects, collaboration, education and advocacy.

The kowhai rich dry woodlands that used to be prolific in the Wakatipu Basin are one of the most threatened ecosystems in New Zealand, and also one of the least protected. The Trust, through the passion and commitment of volunteers is doing what it can to reverse this by running a native plant nursery and planting native plants out on public land around the Wakatipu.

 

While Nita's background isn't strictly botany and reforestation, she has had a career shaped by her love of the environment and mountains including working as a scientist in Antarctica, hydrologist on the West Coast and more recently in environmental education. 

 

Some of that love of the environment is due to being dragged up a few wild valleys aged about 7, botanising with her Mum and Wakatipu Reforestation Trust founders, the well known Neill and Barb Simpson, proof that environmental education in children can have a lasting lifetime effect.

 

Having returned to the area recently she is super passionate about helping enable the community to get out to dig some holes, plant some plants, connect as a community in gumboots over a cuppa and a scone, as well as being involved in some exciting environmental research projects that have the potential to change the way we do landscape reforestation.  

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Extreme Reforestation

BY SERGIO DE LARA
@ URBAN INNOVATION HAPPY HOUR ON APR 30, 2014

While living in Mexico’s third-largest city, Monterrey, Sergio De Lara noticed a distinct lack of urban forestry, most pointedly during the city’s 50-degree summers. What began as a small grass-roots collective digging up previously-sealed sidewalk planters grew to a corporate-sponsored non-profit NGO (going by the name Reforestación Extrema) complete with volunteer teams re-foresting parks and city streets all over. 

"Presentation of the Day" on June 17, 2014.

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Siempre Verde

BY JUAN CORTINA
@ VOL 37 ON SEP 25, 2014

Gabriel and Juan Carlos Cortina founded Siempre Verde to generate a positive impact, a tradition into a celebration of life. Their goal is to build and grow forests one tree at a time by awakening the environmental awareness of individuals.

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The story of the biggest urban forest in the world: Floresta da Tijuca

BY JULIA TADDEI
@ VOL 29 ON FEB 29, 2016

Do you know where is the biggest urban forest in the world? It's in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! The backyard of the house where Julia Taddei grew up is part of this forest, called Floresta da Tijuca.

Julia tells you more about the relationship between the "Cariocas", the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, with the forest, and the fact that it is not a native forest but rather the result of a major reforestation project undertaken around 150 years ago.

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Bosque Urbano México

BY EDUARDO ESTRADA
@ VOL 10 ON AUG 28, 2015

Lalo Estrada nos explica el valor de la catalogación y registro de las áreas arboladas en las ciudades. 

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Landscapes for Better Living

BY KURT VOMFELL
@ VOL 1 ON APR 19, 2017

Kurt Vomfell shares his passion for Landscape Architecture and the subtleties behind site design, planning and vegetation. He gives us an insiders look at how landscape architects go about creating outdoor spaces that fit harmoniously with structures the surrounding lanscape.

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Land Trust of North Alabama

BY BEN PAYMENT
@ VOL 2 ON MAY 11, 2017

Ben Payment gives us the lowdown on what the Land Trust of North Alabama has been up to, along with loads of important information on population growth and land preservation.

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How everyone can save the world with one simple act

BY MICHELLE KANTER
@ VOL 4 ON OCT 25, 2017

Environmental disasters. Climate change. Toxic water. Sixth mass extinction. Health crises. Bad air. Hunger. War. Depression. Road maintenance... Michelle Kanter explains how one plant can change it all...

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Native Orchids of Ohio- Yes, They are Out There

BY KATHLEEN TILLER
@ VOL 34 ON JAN 18, 2018

Kathleen Tiller shows everyone the diversity of the wild orchid population that can be found in Ohio.

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Creating a Lumber Industry in Chile

BY BOB HOWE
@ VOL 6 ON JUN 09, 2018

Bob Howe speaks of his time in Chile in the Peace Corps reforesting to create a lumber industry.