YEREVAN—A visit to Armenia Tree Project’s nursery in Karin Village is still one of Armenia’s best-kept tourist secrets. The organization has opened up its operations to the public in recent years, hosting monthly “Get Rooted” tours of the nursery.
Local residents, diasporans and tourists from all over the world have visited the site where ATP is propagating tens of thousands of fruit and decorative trees for its planting activities. The goal of the tours is to introduce the public to ATP and raise awareness about environmental challenges and solutions.
“We are making a difference. This year, our goal is to put another quarter-of-a-million trees in the ground,” explains Executive Director Jeanmarie Papelian. “We invite you to join us on a tour in Karin, whether you are a concerned citizen, a local environmentalist or an Armenian reconnecting with your ancestral homeland. With your support, we will continue towards our goal of a sustainable and green Armenia. Please contact us for a visit.”
The first Get Rooted tour of the year is scheduled for April 29, with trips to follow on May 30, June 5 and July 5. The public is invited and the suggested donation is $20. The entire trip is approximately three hours including travel time, and it includes a light lunch provided by ATP.
Many of the guests sign our visitor’s book during the tour, from ambassadors to schoolchildren. “Thank you very much for doing what you do for our planet. Without people like you the world would shed a tear. Keep greening up our planet,” wrote Grammy-award winning artist Joss Stone after a visit the day after performing at an international jazz festival in Yerevan.
Visitors stroll in the nursery, discovering more than 50 different species of trees and shrubs and various plants being grown in the fields and in the James and Evelyn (Talanian) Mukjian Greenhouse. ATP’s friendly experts provide insight and share interesting facts and stories about some of the species.
Guests stop by the Michael and Virginia Ohanian Environmental Education Center, where thousands of schoolchildren come to learn about the environment. The afternoon ends with a light lunch and the “green tourists” leave inspired and energized.
ATP’s nurseries in Karin and three other villages provide employment for 42 people, most of whom were Armenian refugees relocated during the war with Azerbaijan.
Fall dates are also scheduled for the tours, and anyone interested is encouraged to contact ATP in Boston or in Yerevan. Details and RSVP information are posted on ATP’s Facebook page.
Armenia Tree Project has planted 5,216,500 trees since its inception in 1994. ATP is the only major tree planting program in the country and in its 22 years has successfully established four nurseries, two environmental education centers and has greened community areas in every province of Armenia and Artsakh. In the process, the organization has provided employment for hundreds of people and provided vital resources to thousands of village residents. For more information, visit ArmeniaTree.org.