Armenia Tree Project (ATP) is pleased to announce the generous sponsorship of Ashtarak Park by the family of the late Robert “Bob” Semonian. This sponsorship is the realization of Semonian’s legacy of cultivating stronger ties between Armenia and the Diaspora.
“My brother Robert Semonian – as an Armenian patriot – was a decades long supporter of the Armenian Tree Project and always admired Carolyn Mugar’s leadership of ATP. Bob was a firm believer in Armenia’s future and particularly enjoyed visits to ATP’s tree farms when visiting Armenia,” said his brother Leon.
“The entire Semonian family is pleased to provide ATP with this gift in Bob’s name and to be a benefactor to the future growth of ATP and its unique mission in contributing to the growth and prosperity of Armenia,” adds his nephew Paul.
Located 40 minutes northwest of Yerevan, Ashtarak Park is cradled between three mountains, Ararat, Aragats and Ara. The 2.5-hectare public park is adjacent to ATP’s Karin Nursery and was established in 2018 to provide recreation for the community of Karin Village and beyond.
Over the course of two decades, the community has been challenged by a lack of green space, waste management and water management issues. This park allows the community to have the benefits of a local, verdant park for use by individuals and families. Fruit trees planted throughout the park will mature to provide a source of nourishment to those who visit. Species are selected for their diversity in size, and foliage color, including birch, koelreuteria, ash, oak, Japanese pagoda, apricot and poplar trees as well as spiraea, forsythia, common boxwood and arborvitae shrubs.
Since 2018, over 1,400 trees and shrubs at Ashtarak Park have been planted by local and diasporan schoolchildren, volunteers, visitors and guests from around the world through ATP’s supervision.
Implemented at Ashtarak Park, ATP developed the Building Bridges program as an initiative to educate students outside Armenia, while providing them the opportunity to meet students in Armenia – and work together to create solutions. A key component of the Building Bridges program is when diasporan students visit Armenia, they plant trees at Ashtarak Park, together with their local peers.
Semonian was gifted in connecting people as he was welcoming, engaging and curious to get to know whomever he met. The family’s sponsorship supporting ATP’s work of bringing people from all around the world together to plant trees for a strong and healthy Armenia is truly meaningful and a celebration of his legacy.