‘Trick or Trees’ sow seeds of sustainability

Despite rain and various ghouls roaming around the Tarzan Falls area of Talofo’fo’, nothing could spook over 80 volunteers from participating in the Guam Department of Agriculture (DoAg) Trick or Trees event on Saturday October 28. This costumed tree planting affair aimed to help stave off erosion. 

The Guam Green Growth (G3) Local2030 Conservation Corps, in support of the DoAg Forestry and Soil Resources Division, arrived early at the Cotal watershed area. They assisted John F. Kennedy High School students in planting approximately 500 acacia trees. 

Josh Fanapngag from the G3 Local2030 Conservation Corps worked alongside the other groups, digging holes for tree planting, providing mulch and fertilizer. To his surprise, the effort was completed in just over an hour.” I was really surprised when we finished [in an hour]. I was expecting to be there for about three or four hours.” 

Erosion at the Cotal watershed area has been a persistent problem, prompting numerous restoration attempts over the past 40 years. While acacia trees are not native to Guam, their ability to provide nitrogen to the soil makes them crucial for sowing native trees.  

Thanks to the sheer volume of volunteers and savvy preparation, the planting of 500 trees concluded in record time, leaving a few hours for the Local2030 Conservation Corps to enjoy the cool waters cascading from atop Tarzan Falls.  

Fanapngag, a native of the island of Yap, recalls the experience with a smile, commenting on how the event unfolded. 

“[The event went] way better than I expected. It was fun, I got to meet a lot of new people, and it’s good to establish new connections. It was a nice feeling to see what we are protecting, even though I am not from Guam. The island is really beautiful.” 

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