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It is the collective population that makes a small problem an epidemic, but it is the individuals of that society that can make the difference. After all, it is the actions of the citizens that define a country.
With that in mind, my friend and I, two college students from the middle of New Jersey , are taking the initiative to make America greener and healthier. In the summer of 2008, we will be biking across the country while planting one million trees along the way. Person by person and tree by tree, we hope that as we add to America 's beautiful landscape, we can also educate individuals whom we meet along the way and spread the seed of love for our environment.
The objective of our project is rather simple: to plant one million trees in one summer. But the benefits of this journey branch outwards, well, like a tree.
Our first and foremost task is to get one million seeds into the ground. That being said, we need to transport these seeds on our bikes and plant them in a timely manner, careful to not sacrifice the tree's potential growth success. Obviously, we will not carry a half million seeds on each of our backs, so we will be shipping, storing and picking up seeds at stations set up along the trail.
It should be noted that we know popping a seed into the ground doesn't necessarily equal a tree. But we hope to have volunteers along the trail to allow us to plant on their property, so they can ensure the success of the tree. Undoubtedly there will be vast stretches of nothing but nature, and in that case we hope the Earth will take care of our newly planted seedlings.
The amount of difficulties we'll face along the way are numerous as we examine the trip in the planning stage, but the true tests will come out on the actual journey. Therefore, it is critical that our planning stage is thorough and concise, so that problems can be minimized and we can focus on achieving our goal.
As we meet people along the trail, we hope to spread our message of environmental responsibility. Through conversations with people from all backgrounds in different regions of the country, we plan to share our word, but more importantly, hear from people whom we never would have met otherwise. We want to learn, educate and provide an outlet for those whose voices may never be heard. We will be stopping by schools before, during and after trip in an effort to inspire and educate our youth to be progressive and environmentally conscious.
Although the outcome will be an inspiring and beneficial journey along the trail, we are excited about the opportunity to grow personally. We're not any different from any other person in America , and with the completion of this project, maybe others will see the pride we'll hold in our accomplishment and do something life-changing in their lives.
So we continue to learn, as we always will, about the journey ahead of us and the need for environmental maintenance. The planning will take place, the support and donations from all of you will be graciously accepted and we'll begin our much anticipated trip. And when one million new seeds are ready to grow, when we've shared stories with all the people we can, when our project has been documented and distributed and viewed by as many people as possible, our objective has been completed.
- Grant Gardner
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