OISCA: Marriage of Science and Nature
Dear Family and Friends,
Nature and Science. Two powerful forces precariously teetering in their ongoing attempts to find balance. Hopefully, what they build outweighs what they destroy. But no guarantees. Climate change, pushing us to the edge of challenge, yet opening opportunities to shift values, to see ourselves and our creations – even our most advanced technology – as an integral part of the Nature World, the Web of Life.
Nature and Science. Where do they dance in harmony? What are examples that encourage a happy marriage between these two forces calling for dynamic involvement and change?
OISCA. A Japanese NGO devoted to planting trees. Worldwide. And also very close. Natori, a town bordering Sendai, blessed with ten years of OISCA support. A project to replace large sections of the once vast coastal pine forest, obliterated by the March 11 tsunami.
OISCA is wise. It uses the expertise of locals for advice and direction. OISCA supports; it does not dominate. Together all involved build a future based on trust, respect, ancient wisdom, modern science, and hope.
OISCA is smart. It works beyond and around the planting of trees. Total commitment to the whole. Once yearly, average citizens come to help plant pines. Year round OISCA and locals hold meetings, seminars, and educational programs, both in town and in the field. Experts provide clear explanations of where we have been, where we are going.
We stumbled our way over soft earth, covered with wood chips, and trenches to catch life-giving water, much needed this year of minimal snow and rain. We learned how crucial caring for the roots is, and how red pines and black have different needs.
In stark contrast were adjacent patches, planted by a profit-oriented company. The trees there looked sad and weak, dwarfs next to their neighbors, although planted at the same time.
OISCA and all those who assist use Science in total accord with the Nature it serves. 100 years from now, 200 (?), 1000 (?) . . . We are planting today so the future, which we personally will never see, will prosper.