Green ‘S’ Force Planting Days—17-18 May 2014
This year we are very fortunate to again have the Shah Satnam Ji Green ‘S’ Welfare Force assisting us with our planting work. Last year, thanks to them we had our most successful planting season ever and this year is off to a great start after their first planting weekend.
The Shah Satnam Ji Green ‘S’ Welfare Force was formed in India by Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan in 2006. Originally intended to help humanity in distress by mobilising during natural disasters, the organisation has expanded its membership and scope. In addition to disaster relief work, members worldwide are also involved in environmental clean up projects, blood donor drives, anti-drug campaigns and tree planting to help the environment.
All of the members in New Zealand work or go to school during the week and devote their weekends to volunteer service.
This weekend we had 31 Green ‘S’ Force members over the weekend. Some worked one or both days. The group included Aman, Amanpreet, Ankush, Bharpoor, Dinesh, Guneet, Harinder, Jagdeep, Jagseer, Karamjeet, Karan, Lakhwinder, Mandeep, Meenu, Navjot, Navneet, Paramjat, Parminder, Pooja, Raj, Raminder, Ranjit, Ravinder, Randal, Samandeep, Simarpreet, Simarjeet, Suhas, Sukwinder, Vinod.
We knew many of the members from last year but there were also several new people and it was great catching up with old friends and making new ones. Most of the group came from the Auckland area but Karamjeet and Parminder came all the way from Hamilton.
Each day we got acquainted over morning tea and then gave a safety briefing and orientation.
The first job was to take all the plants up from the nursery to the planting area.
As we got the trees up to the site the team spread them out and the planters went to work.
The hard working team even took their breaks in the field.
The planting site was mostly smooth but there were some challenging steep and wet areas.
And one of the biggest challenges was moving about 300 trees from an area that had been planted last season where we are going to be putting in a road. During the summer when it’s hot and dry we let the tall weeds grow up around the new trees because they provide protection from the sun and wind and help prevent the trees from drying out. The weeds have now died off but finding the small trees and digging them out was challenging!
And at the end there was the tedious job of picking up the thousands of empty pots!
But the team coped very well with all these challenges and were well taken care of by a couple of members of the group who stayed in the kitchen to make lunches and dinner.
By the end of the day on Sunday the team had as usual exceeded our expectations and planted a huge number of trees. As a result of the team’s efforts we are well on our way to reaching our planting goal for the year.
We had a great time working with the team and really appreciate their enthusiasm, dedication hard work and commitment to making our planet a better place through their selfless volunteer work. Thank you all so very, very much and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.