The theme of World Environment Day 2024 is land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience. The prevention and restoration of desertification are among the most urgent environmental issues needing resolution at this time. On April 29, a total of 30 ASEZ members from four universities—MIT, Harvard University, Tufts University, and Bunker Hill Community College—recognized this urgency and gathered in Everett, MA, U.S., to plant trees.

This event was held as part of the ASEZ Green Carbon [AGC] campaign, a prominent climate change response initiative by ASEZ. City councilors joined to amplify the voices of university students.

ASEZ members planted various types of trees along Riverbend Park with Casey-Lee Bastien, the lead landscape architect. Within two hours, they successfully planted more than 100 trees. These trees will have positive effects such as increasing oxygen levels and reducing carbon dioxide, playing a significant role in preserving the earth. Currently, many ASEZ members around the world, including those in Massachusetts, are participating in this global effort.

Councilor Stephanie Martins said, “I loved that the volunteers are taking time first on a Monday morning to be here to beautify the city of Everett, making Everett greener.” City Councilor Holly Garcia complimented ASEZ, saying, “ASEZ is a fantastic group of volunteers. You guys are very driven, hardworking, and got the job done very quickly!”

As always, the first step to changing the future is the small actions of those living in the present. What they have planted today is not just a tree but also hope for the earth that is drying up. Like the verse in the Bible, “a man reaps what he sows,” we hope that our hope, planted today, will soon bloom in full.