FRANKLIN, Mass.—The staff and counselors of AYF Camp Haiastan welcomed representatives of the Armenia Tree Project (ATP) on June 20 to plant new trees on the camp grounds and learn more about ATP’s mission.
“As the trees at Camp Haiastan age, we’ve started to notice that some of them need replacement,” explains Executive Director David Hamparian. “Slowly we’ve begun planting new trees around the area to help restore the site and get some new shade trees into the ground.”
Camp Haiastan has been working with ATP for several years around its Building Bridges environmental education program, with occasional lectures with the campers about Armenia and the importance of trees.
When the camp director found out that ATP’s chief propagator Tigran Palazyan was in Boston last month, he jumped at the chance to invite him to Franklin. Tigran and deputy director Jason Sohigian showed up with the trees, and planted them thanks to the hard work of the counselors who took a break from their usual day to dig holes and help to water the new trees.
“We’re all about partnerships at ATP,” said Jason, “so when we found out David is restoring some of the tree cover at the camp site, we were glad to get involved. There’s a definite ecological need to have trees of varying species and age in a forest like the one around Camp Haiastan, and of course we need shade trees around the picnic area where hundreds of people gather on summer weekends.”
“After an informative and interesting discussion educating the Camp Haiastan counselors about ATP’s goals, we gathered around the picnic grounds and planted two trees while learning the proper method from Tigran who shared his joy of reforestation with us,” adds David. “We look forward to more of these educational and productive visits from ATP in the future.”