This hillside seen from RVA was entirely forested in the late 1980s but is now totally denuded. At this point, there is little hope of any forest regrowing in this area without some type of intervention. Here much of the moisture isn't rain so much as condensation which drips from the leaves of trees every night. Our friends in Woodland Park know the type of 'rain' I'm talking about. The problem is, that this type of moisture leaves bare earth or grass dry. As a result of this deforestation, many of the streams in our area which used to carry good water all year now run only during the rainiest seasons.
Our group teamed up with Craig Sorely from Care of Creation, Kenya as he worked to set up a new tree nursery to raise some of this area's most useful and vulnerable tree species. Additionally, the Nursery will have a small teaching farm where people from the organization Farming God's Way can help to educate farmers in the Kijabe area about healthy farming habits which stress good stewardship of God's creation. Most of our time was spent stringing wire through fenceposts made of old grocery sacks. It was hard work, but when I saw Craig today, he was still very grateful for the help.
It's hard to imagine how problems like this can be corrected. It will probably be at least thirty years before that hillside has a decent stand of trees growing on it, and who knows if the streamflow can be restored. Sometimes it feels like it is still a losing battle and that trees as disappearing more quickly from the forest reserve than they can possibly be replaced, but it was encouraging to work hard with some high school boys and see seeds of change growing in their minds and in the minds of the Kenyans we were working with about our role as Christians in caring for the environment.