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From There to Here: Why the Environment Matters to One Tree-planting Volunteer

Imagine having an ‘ah ha’ moment about the world and how we live in it several thousand feet above ground over Afghanistan. That’s what happened to Brad Machado.

Brad – while deployed in Afghanistan as a flight paramedic – realized this while staring down at the earth below from his perch above: there was nothing. Particularly striking to him about the vast landscape below was how empty it was in the absence of any sort of resource management. For example, he observed that a total lack of flood mitigation resulted in washing out farms in the rainy season, leaving a barren landscape below and the people who lived there struggling with a general lack of resources.

Fast forward to Brad’s return home to Modesto (where he was born and raised) in the middle of one of the worst droughts California has ever seen – it felt like a strange parallel. It gave Brad what he describes as a “front row seat in how we manage our own resources and how our environment is affected by our actions.”

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