SAFFORD — Talk is cheap for two local teens — so they took action.
Two months ago, Jordan Walker, 13, and Arrow Hargis, 12, decided it was time to help the local ecology. So the pair formed the Treehouse Project with the goal of planting native trees throughout the Gila Valley.
“The community is a more pleasant place to be when there are trees,” Hargis told the Courier. “We’re trying to do as much as we can to help the environment and improve our quality of life.”
Walker and Hargis used September’s SalsaFest to spread their message and raised $262.75 at that event. With that money, they purchased 100 mesquite trees and two willows to be planted.
“We’re asking people if we can plant in their yards. We’re asking businesses if we can plant there, too,” Walker said. “We tell them we chose native trees because they last longer and are easier to take care of.”
Gila Watershed Partnership has made its greenhouse at Eastern Arizona College’s Discovery Park Campus available to the young women to house their trees until ready for planting.
“We really appreciate the help we’ve gotten at Discovery Park,” Walker said.
Trees aren’t their only focus — they are also making an effort to collect trash and establish a stop littering campaign.
“It’s frustrating to see the trash; people aren’t respecting Mother Earth,” Hargis said.
The duo is now seeking help to get the message out on planting trees and performing cleanups around the area.
“It was frustrating to hear the ignorance of people when it comes to climate change,” Walker said. “Instead of waiting for someone else to do something, we decided we needed to step up.”
Those interested in helping can find the Treehouse Project across social media, @_tree__house_ on Instagram, Safford Tree House on Facebook and @TreeHouse Project on Twitter.