SILVER SPRING, MD. - Trees for the Future, a Maryland-based nonprofit organization helping communities worldwide plant fruit and forest trees through seed distribution and agroforestry training, kicked off its 20th year in existence with renewed support and recognition for its efforts helping communities around the world. The Maryland legislature recently recognized the contributions of Trees with a resolution introduced by Senators Richard Madaleno and Brian Frosh and Delegate Al Carr.
“Every time you turn on a light switch, BOOM, you’re blowing up someone’s back yard.” I was introduced to Ed Wiley, the extraordinary man just quoted, by Kathy Mattea backstage at the Mountain Aid Benefit Concert. She came out to Shakori Hills on her fiftieth birthday to help Ed raise money for his granddaughter and all the children of Marsh Fork Elementary School who are victims of mountain top removal coal mining. Just three hundred feet behind this school, there is a 1,849 acre mountain top removal sight with an unstable slate dam holding 2.8 billion gallons of toxic waste from the coal cleaning process. The community’s water supply is already contaminated, and the children of Marsh Fork Elementary have been going home sick on a regular basis for months.