Friends Special Event: An Extraordinary, Garden-Variety Solution to Deforestation and Poverty in Central America

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013

Join us as Florence Reed, president and founder of Sustainable Harvest International, shares a story of hope and success in preserving our planet’s tropical forests while overcoming poverty through sustainable farming, tropical forest preservation, and reforestation.

While serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama, Florence learned that traditional tropical agricultural practices cause environmental and cultural damage but that farmers were searching for sustainable alternatives.

Not only concerned with farm yields, they wanted to leave a healthy ecosystem for future generations.

After her Peace Corps service, she founded Sustainable Harvest International (SHI), a nonprofit organization working with rural Central American farmers to implement sustainable farming practices that dramatically improve their quality of life while restoring the health of their environment and communities.

Working with local partners, SHI helps poor farmers take responsibility for reversing local environmental degradation and achieving economic viability in their own communities, becoming self-sufficient stewards of the land and mentors for other families.

SHI has an impressive record, having worked with more than 2,200 families in rural Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

Participants have planted over 3 million trees, converted nearly 20,000 acres of degraded land to sustainable farmland, protected 100,000 acres of tropical forest from loggers, and raised their income by as much as eight times.

An acclaimed and award-winning speaker for audiences of all ages and backgrounds, Florence brings a unique combination of fascinating information, beautiful photography and a warm appreciation of people, cultures, and the natural environment. Her tales of struggle and hope exemplify what people can accomplish with determination and vision.

Monday, April 14, 2014 – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. $25 for FOA members; $30 for non-members. Includes a buffet lunch served prior to the presentation.

Click here for event details and a registration form.

Located between Lake Wingra and the West Beltline Highway at 1207 Seminole Highway, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum features the restored prairies, forests and wetlands of pre-settlement Wisconsin. This 1,260-acre arboretum also houses flowering trees, shrubs and a world-famous lilac collection. Educational tours for groups and the general public, science and nature-based classes for all ages and abilities, and a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for groups, families and individuals are available.