Michael Pilarski and Friends of the Trees
Michael Pilarski is taking action to save the worlds forests.Inspired by Richard St. Brubaker, who promoted tree planting internationally;¬†Pilarski helped found Friends of the Trees Society (FOTS) in 1978.
FOTS mission is to¬†double the worlds forests, inspire, enable, educate, and assist people to live in harmony¬†with forests and trees, and publish positive visions of a sustainable world with strategies¬†to get there.
Rather than just sound the alarm about threats to the environment, FOTS emphasizes¬†immediate action..
“We are a part of the pro-active wing, we have solutions,” Pilarski said.
FOTS operates at local, regional, national, and international levels. They have¬†distributed over 170,000 seedlings, thousands of seed packets, and sponsored events¬†which have brought information to thousands of people. Currently they have over 10,000¬†people on their mailing list. FOTS and Pilarski have played a huge part in forming the¬†Bellingham Permaculture Club which combines practices of urban and rural¬†sustainability and meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.
The overall system of agriculture and living which has a minimum negative effect on¬†the planet. FOTS has also created The Travelers Repair Network (TERN) which links¬†travelers with individuals and organizations in other countries around the world who are¬†involved in sustainability.
Is Pilarski satisfied with FOTS progress so far?
“Heavens no, the world is heading hell bent for disaster, but the good news is – more¬†people are aware we’re heading there.”
Pilarski offers some everyday steps people can follow to help save the planet:¬†plant trees , look for ways to reduce consumption of the earth’s resources, and support¬†the restoration of nature.
” At Friends of the Trees, we believe in multiple functions for single elements, in other words, one person can do more than one thing at a time.”
“Friends of the Trees is not a radical group,” Pilarski said , “We’re not into extreme¬†action, we’re into promoting non-violence and less consumption.”
In addition to founding FOTS , Pilarski has edited Restoration Forestry: an¬†International Guide to Sustainable Forestry Practices and compiled The Third¬†World Resource Guide with Michael G. Smith.¬†Currently FOTS is sponsoring workshops on gathering local herbs and edible wild¬†plants without damaging the environment on the eastern and western slopes of the North¬†Cascades as well as the Puget Sound lowlands.
On August 16 and 17, FOTS, The¬†Herbalist (Seattle) and Wonderland Tea and Spices (Bellingham) sponsored The Northwest Herbal Fair at the River Farm near Bellingham. This event’s focus was¬†showing people how to use local herbs in their lives. For more information on Friends of¬†the Trees, Permaculture, or current events in sustainability contact Friends of the Trees¬†Society at (360)738-4972.