WHOLE LIFE TIMES
For intrepid travelers able to commit to a three-month project, Common Vision offers a chance to road-trip up the gorgeous California coastline and back while helping kids turn their schoolyards into fruit orchards.
Twenty-five Fruit Tree Tour volunteers travel in a fleet of psychedelically painted, veggie oil-powered school buses, stopping at pre-scheduled schools (largely in underserved urban areas) to teach students the entire process of planting — how to shovel, pick and plant ten to 50 trees. Volunteers introduce topics most of the children have never heard of before — nutrient cycles, soil microlife, the importance of fresh food, tree biology and drumming.
While the 2008 tour is already under way, applications are being accepted for 2009. You could also lend a hand to the group by bringing mulch to a community planting near you. If you lack a green thumb, fear not; The trip kicks off with a two-week training period. “Volunteers become tree-planting experts during the course of the tour,” says Megan Watson, Director of Operations for Common Vision.