It’s always inspiring to see the Friends of Trees community expand to other parts of the globe.
Kate Farrington was Friends of Trees’ Neighborhood Trees outreach coordinator until a year ago, when she and her sister took off on a road trip across the country. They traveled from the Sawtooth Mountains and Grand Teton National Park to Shenandoah National Park—and south through the Carolinas to Austin, Texas, where Kate stayed a while to do community gardening and help with the mayor’s re-election campaign.
Now in Asheville, North Carolina, Kate has almost completed her four-month apprenticeship with the international nonprofit Kleiwerks International (pronounced Clay-works”) as a part of WASI, a new Kleiwerks program involving “innovative design specialists collaborating with communities to create ecological and social resilience.”
WASI stands for Women of the Americas Sustainability Initiative. Its goal is to empower women, who, according to the nonprofit’s web site, make up 70% of the world’s most impoverished people. In addition, women “most often lead efforts to secure water, food, fuel, education and healthcare for their families and communities.” WASI quickly expanded beyond the Americas; its reach includes Argentina, Haiti, Laos, Thailand, Turkey and the United States.
Kate’s blog, “Playing in the Mud,” includes colorful descriptions and photos of her and her colleagues constructing buildings with local materials, a concept that is empowering women across the world. My personal favorite is the bottle wall—which filters light through colorful bottle bottoms.
Keep tabs on Kate by visiting her blog to see what she’s up to next. We wish you and WASI all the best, Kate, as you continue your good work in the world.