Susie Forest expands to Afghanistan with two trees in Mazar-i-Sharif | News
There’s a new addition to the Susie Forest around the globe. Earlier this month, two Susie trees were planted in Afghanistan with the help of German military efforts to teach plant cultivation and a Spokane man serving with the Air National Guard.
Senior airman Matt McCain emailed the good news from Afghanistan where he says the tree was dedicated on August 7 at a German-run airbase and bound for Mazar-i-Sharif to be planted at the city’s Blue Mosque.
The tree species was lost in translation. McCain, a former AmeriCorps intern with Spokane Urban Forestry, says it was a quick operation, but when he returns home, he’ll track down an arborist to help identify the type of tree.
McCain says he helped Nancy MacKerrow, the mother behind the Susie Forest, plant and dedicate trees to the memory of MacKerrow’s daughter, Susie Stephens, who died in 2002 after being hit by a bus when she was crossing the street in St. Louis, Missouri.
Over the phone, MacKerrow explained she’s preparing to travel around the United States to plant more Susie trees, but says she asked McCain to plant a Susie tree during his travels as well.
“When he was living here, I said to him, there are plenty of trees around the world, but wouldn’t it be neat to have one in Afghanistan?” MacKerrow said.
There are more than 20 trees planted internationally for the Susie Forest including Canada, Brazil, the Philippines, England, Pakistan, Iran, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
MacKerrow says when people go off to travel, she tries to have them plant a Susie tree if they can, especially if there’s a parks department for the city they’re traveling to. As for her own travels, MacKerrow, now 75-years-old, says she wants to keep doing it for as long as she can. One of her stops includes planting a Susie tree in Portland for the Tour des Trees.
“It’s a wonderful way to see the country, get to know people and I just love it,” MacKerrow added.
If you'd like to help the Susie Forest grow, you can contact MacKerrow at email@example.com and learn how to find, dedicate and grow a Susie tree.