May 4 event at Huntington Botanical Gardens in LA will kick off festivities
WATERTOWN—Twenty two years ago philanthropist Carolyn Mugar witnessed the cutting and burning of thousands of trees in Armenia so that families could survive the severe shortages the country faced in the aftermath of the earthquake, and during the conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan. Committed to preventing further deforestation, Mugar and her husband, the late John O’Connor, decided to do something. By 1994, Armenia Tree Project (ATP) was established.
Today, the organization has planted more than 4.4 million trees during 40 seasons of planting, established three nurseries and two environmental education centers, and has greened villages, churches, parks, and open spaces throughout Armenia. “In the process, ATP has provided employment for hundreds of people,” explains Managing Director Tom Garabedian. “We are grateful for the vision of our founder, and the many partners with whom we have worked over the years.”
To celebrate ATP’s 20th anniversary, volunteer committees are organizing events in Los Angeles, Boston, and Yerevan. The first of these celebrations will take place on the exclusive grounds of the historic Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California on May 4. Carolyn Mugar will be attending the exceptional evening along with other special guests.
In Boston, the stunning Atrium of the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse overlooking Boston Harbor will be the site of a November 8 celebration, headed by committee co-chairs Nina Festekjian and Nicole Babikian Hajjar.
As details about the celebrations in Los Angeles and Boston are released in the coming weeks, ATP will also unveil a new logo and website to give the organization a new look and broaden its scope in Armenia and the Diaspora.
“Our traditional base of support has been the Armenian-American community with donors in all 50 states, but we hope to expand our network throughout the Diaspora,” continues Garabedian.
“We hope to further internationalize the work of ATP. Over the past 20 years, we have received support from 57 countries and have had strong ties in places like Buenos Aires, Australia, Germany, Norway, and Cyprus, but we know there is much more to do.”
“At this time, I’m reminded of the Chinese proverb: ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’ I can’t think of anything more fitting as we look ahead and invite the community to get behind this effort to restore our nation’s natural infrastructure,” concludes Garabedian.
For additional details about the May 4 gala at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, contact Western Region Development Director Maral Habeshian at (818) 913-2563 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.