Trees provide sustenance, clean the air, protect the soil, and generously provide shade, fruits, and other benefits. In a February 6, 1993 divine discourse, Sri Sathya Sai Baba said, “Trees play a vital role in helping mankind to receive oxygen from the atmosphere while they absorb Carbon Dioxide exhaled by human beings.” Tree planting is, therefore, a major initiative of the SSSIO worldwide.

In New Zealand, 17 SSSIO members planted over 250 trees on June 25, 2023, at the C-U-E (Cultivating Understanding and Enlightenment) Haven Forest Reserve in an area severely damaged by a recent cyclone. C-U-E is a charitable trust with a vision to create thriving, self-sustaining, native forest reserves where people can enjoy and learn about nature and celebrate New Zealand’s natural, cultural, and historical heritage. For many years, the SSSIO of New Zealand has generously supported the 24-hectare forest reserve near Auckland, New Zealand.

Despite the inclement weather, steep and challenging terrain, and muddy conditions, SSSIO volunteers were all smiles as they shared the hard labor of planting native trees. Their loving service was recognized in a blog post expressing the trust’s fulsome appreciation.