"It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees."
Wangari Maathai won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for fighting deforestation in Kenya as she helped impoverished women plant trees to halt erosion and build back depleted forests. Despite overwhelming odds--including repeated beatings, arrests, and imprisonment--she established the Green Belt Movement, which has planted more than 30 million trees in Africa and has helped 900,000 women. She was the first woman in East or Central Africa to earn a doctorate.
A banyan is a fig tree, and there are several kinds of fig trees. Older banyans are known for their "aerial prop roots" that allow the tree to spread out, covering a large area. In jungles, some ancient banyans have a hollow core that provides shelter to animals.
The banyan tree in these photographs was planted in Hawaii by missionary settlers in the late 1800s. It is the home of many animals, including an owl. It now covers approximately an acre of land beside the ocean.
Balance on Our Planet
Art © copyright 2014 by Mark Teague from The Tree House that Jack Built, published June 1, 2014 by Orchard/Scholastic. Text © copyright 2014 by Bonnie Verburg. This site is not
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