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Michelle's Earth Foundation Newsletter
January 28, 2008
Dear MEF,
This issue of the MEF newsletter recognizes Michelle's birthday (January 28) with photos of the commemorative trees planted in her name. We know of thousands of trees planted in recognition of Michelle, and we're always interested in pictures, particularly those including volunteers.  The photos at the bottom of this page should be linked to full size images on the MEF server.  Send your tree photos with a brief description to

We want to extend a special thanks to those who've created and supported tributes and memorials to Michelle on Facebook Groups, Facebook, and the MEF site.
New Domain Name

You may have noticed that we've been shifting our most up-to-date content to

Please bookmark that site and mention it in your Facebook, on blogs, and in links on your web pages and email footers.
Sunflower Project
in New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward

Gail Fendley has taken the lead on a project in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward using sunflowers to both beautify the area and remediate the soil. Gail, with helpers Ian Willson and Bean Weatherford, mowed, tilled and planted over 20,000 square feet and established a growing network of volunteers. Look for more photos in our February or March newsletter.
In Bali:
Pay for Not Cutting Forests

According to Peter N. Spotts in his 12/14/07 article in the Christian Science Monitor, a key climate initiative is gathering momentum in the post-Kyoto road map. REDD, short for 'reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation," recognizes that deforestation accounts for roughly 20 percent of the greenhouse gases that human activities pump into the atmosphere. New satellite technology has been a major help in developing baseline estimates of the amount of carbon a forest holds, according to Doug Boucher with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

At the Bali meeting in December the World Bank pledged $160 million for pilot projects to test the idea of paying to keep forests. Norway added $5 million and the Nature Conservancy $1 million to the projects, while some 30 developing nations expressed strong interest. The idea was first proposed by Costa Rica and Papua-New Guinea at the 2005 UN climate talks in Montreal.

Restructuring ministries such as agriculture and energy into an environment ministry could help countries halt deforestation. Carlos Rodgriguez, former minister of environment and energy in Costa Rica, says that was crucial to his country's success at halting and in some areas reversing tropical deforestation.

If current trends continue, by 2030 55% of the Amazon will have been cleared or impoverished by some combination of logging, drought, and fire says Daniel Nepstad of the Woods Hole Research Center. Indonesia and Brazil are ranked as the third and fourth worst greenhouse gas emitting countries after China and the U.S. because of deforestation.
Urban Trees

It's important in urban areas to keep trees according to Lynn Scarlett of the Dept. of Interior. The department has signed memoranda of understanding with cities to help in tree planting.

There has been a 70 percent decline in common backyard birds because of habitat fragmentation in the U.S., according to V. Dion Haynes' 1/20/08 article in the Wash. Post.  Then, of course, trees help keep warming urban areas cooler.

Contact your local Cooperative Extension Office to learn how you can help.
Nationwide Teach-In
for Climate Change

On Thursday, the 31st of January, more than 1.500 colleges and universities will host classes, documentaries, performances, energy-saving competitions, and discussions with political leaders on the topic of climate change. tells about the event.
George Mason University will host its Teach-In on climate change on Tuesday, January 29th. Sessions will begin at 12 noon and continue until 5:45.
A Donated Acre
in Costa Rica

Thanks to Anthony Strauss who preserved an acre on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula in Michelle's honor through the Nature Conservancy's Adopt-An-Acre Program. 
Contribute to Our Newsletter
or the web site.

We welcome your stories and editorials, as well as related images, that could contribute to this newsletter. Send your materials to
Where are you planting trees?

We've planted over 2600 seedlings and trees in Michelle's name in the Mid-Atlantic region over the last 15 months. But we especially enjoy hearing of trees planted in special places. 

Thanks to Dana Mueller and Laura Litz each made a donation of dozens of trees to be planted in the Gallatin National Forest near Yellowstone National Park. 

Trees Planted for Michelle's Earth

Here is a collection of photos of trees planted in Michelle's name. We'll be building a web page of such photos, so please send yours to If possible, use software such as IrfanView (free) to resize or resample your photos to reduce them to 100K or less before sending them to us.

Yasmine, Michelle's sister and founder of MEF, beside Leland Spruce in her back yard. One of three winterberries rescued from a construction site and replanted at the Wood House Research Farm in West Virginia. Scarlet Oak at H-B Woodlawn, Michelle's school. Principal Frank Haltiwanger, Diane Gardner and John-Charles Quinn.
Blue spruce from Michelle's garden that was moved to H-B Woodlawn beside her favorite picnic table. Red Osier Dogwoods being planted in Burlington's Intervale where Michelle worked on a 'Going Local' food distribution project. Flowering plum at UVM Slade House, the environmental dorm.
UVM Siberian Spruce on the campus Green near Howard Fountain. A close-up of the spruce, with a plaque dedicating it to Michelle. A close-up of the plaque honoring Michelle.
Gingko Biloba at Michelle's church. David Starrels singing during the dedication. Ian's decorated Bald cypress. One of 100 experimental American chestnuts at six months after planting from seed.
Please share your comments, questions or ideas by email at

Thanks for all you do in Michelle's name.

Michelle's Earth Foundation
Michelle's Earth Foundation | Preston King Station | P.O. Box 5140 | Arlington | VA | 22205