Peace tree comes to Curtis Park

When Gashaw Tahir (“Ga-sha Ta-heer”) returned to his homeland, Ethiopia, after decades of living in the United States, he was horrified to see that the lush landscape of his youth had been decimated by clear cutting. Tahir made a goal to make Africa green again. He convinced the government of Ethiopia to give him a few of these desolate acres, and he recruited people from his hometown to start planting trees. Tahir currently owns 11,000 acres and has planted 1 million trees.

The United Nations Association of Sacramento has invited Tahir and the Greenland Foundation to take part in planting a tree for peace in Curtis Park. The tree-planting idea grew from a suggestion by one of the local U.N. board members, Nahid Kabbani, who helped plan a similar event with Tahir and the U.N. chapter in Los Angeles.

The Curtis Park event on Sept. 30, at a time to be posted on the Sierra 2 website, will follow the annual International Day of Peace celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 23 at the state Capitol.

The Curtis Park planting will take place near the tennis courts where two Elm trees were recently removed. The plan is to plant a gingko tree.

The UNA chapter thanks SCNA board members Dan Pskowski and John Mathews for facilitating the event and working with urban forestry.

Editor’s note: Kate Van Buren of 24th Street is president of UNA Sacramento, which was founded in 1950 and continues to support the work of the United Nations.

By Kate Van Buren Special to the Viewpoint

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