We may not be able to plant as many trees as we want in our lifetime, but planting seeds of learning and caring for the environment in the hearts of children will surely go a long way. This was the simple guiding principle of an odd mix of people (my 60-year old mother, myself, and two young mountaineers) who decided to travel to Ipo Dam at least once a month to educate the children about earthkeeping.
Ipo Dam in Bulacan province is a reservoir that supplies Metro Manila its major water needs. But because of deforestation, clean water and flood management has been a major problem for everyone. Illegal settlers in Ipo Dam are the main culprits of kaingin (the slashing and burning of forest trees for cultivation purposes).
You can’t see the book from this angle…but it’s Noah’s Ark! Talk about flood control.
Thankfully, they allow their children to attend our nature activities. Our informal classroom agenda consists of singing songs like “Ang Mga Ibon” (The Birds), games such as trash-gathering, stories like “Diola, Heroine of Philippine Eagles”, bird-watching and rock piling. Of course, we also teach them about the dangers of kaingin.
Reading Diola: Heroine of Philippine Eagles.
We know that there is the challenge of understanding the big picture of things economy-wise, setting up alternative livelihood programs, and instilling a deep personal conviction of stewardship for our one and only home—the earth. But when we put our heads together and get on our feet, great things can happen from small beginnings! At least, that’s what we believe.
By the way, if any of you are interested in doing something like this, let me know! Leave a comment below and let’s make the world a better place.