Youth Plant Trees at Home, Raise Hope Abroad


Claire Gwatkin Jones
Arlington, Virginia – This Arbor Day, members of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the Jane Goodall Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program, have something to celebrate. After a year of sowing the seeds of hope—literally—Roots & Shoots is proud to announce that its “ReBirth the Earth: Trees for Tomorrow” campaign:
  • Raised More Than $18,000 (USD)
  • Planted More Than 3,600 Trees in the United States
  • Will Contribute to the Establishment of More Than Three Tree Nurseries in Tanzania
The ReBirth the Earth campaign, conceived and organized by the U.S. Roots & Shoots Youth Leadership Council, blew the top off of its tree-planting and fundraising goals. At the outset, Roots & Shoots hoped to raise $10,000 (USD) to fund the establishment of several long-term Roots & Shoots tree nurseries in Tanzania, while planting 3,000 trees in the United States. With support from the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet and the National Arbor Day Foundation, the youth organizers called on young people from across the nation to Panda Miti (Swahili for “plant trees”) while gaining sponsorships for every tree planted.
The ReBirth the Earth campaign was first conceived in 2006, after 10 Roots & Shoots Youth Leaders from the United States traveled to Tanzania as part of the Roots & Shoots Youth Immersion Experience.
“While there, we helped local Roots & Shoots groups plant trees and learned about a true need for more nurseries in Tanzania,” said Bryan Lairmore, the campaign’s youth chairperson. “We asked if there was a way to connect Roots & Shoots-Tanzania to our annual youth campaigns. With great excitement, Tanzania Roots & Shoots staff replied that they would love to be able to increase the number of tree nurseries and provide members with opportunities to plant more trees.” Thus, the “ReBirth the Earth: Trees for Tomorrow” campaign was born.
“This was a fantastic and exciting campaign, because it was completely conceived, organized and implemented by our Roots & Shoots young people,” said renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. “These youth gained the worldly knowledge and practical skills to make a real difference in their own communities and in the communities of their new-found friends in Tanzania.”
“I invited my friends from Mbete to join Roots & Shoots so that we can strengthen our efforts to protect the environment, help our animals and enjoy the natural habitat,” said Ramadhani, a young member of Roots & Shoots-Tanzania based in Morogoro. “I have always been interested in the environment and I never knew where I could join. Now I’m so happy to be involved with Roots & Shoots—it’s the best place for me to follow my dreams.”
The U.S. campaign participants’ actions were creative and inspiring. A Roots & Shoots group near Baltimore, Md., organized a music concert series to raise the funds to buy trees and donate to ReBirth the Earth. Together, two young girls, one from Maryland and one from California, also raised a whopping $2,600 (USD) for the campaign.
The U.S. tree-planting efforts will contribute to:
  • Establishing a hub for conservation and sustainable forestry education in  Tanzania
  • Generating income to support Roots & Shoots activities throughout Tanzania
  • Offsetting pollution levels in the United States and Tanzania
  • Increasing habitat for animals in both countries
  • Providing human communities with recreation and wilderness areas in both countries.
For complete campaign information, please visit
About the Jane Goodall Institute
Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research of chimpanzee behavior—research that transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and the Roots & Shoots global environmental and humanitarian youth program, which has groups in 110 countries. For more information, please visit
About Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots
Founded in 1991 by Dr. Jane Goodall and a group of Tanzanian students, the Roots & Shoots program is about making positive change happen—for our communities, for animals and for the environment. With tens of thousands of young people in 110 countries, the Roots & Shoots network connects youth of all ages who share a desire to create a better world. Young people identify problems in their communities and take action. Through service projects, youth-led campaigns and an interactive website, Roots & Shoots members are making a difference across the globe. For more information, please visit



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