Tarakeshwar is a municipality in Kathmandu, Nepal that is on a mission to become an emerald city. This area lies in the buffer zone of Shivapuri Nagarjun Natonal Park and abuts Nagarjun Forest Reserve. Mr. Bishwanath Rijal (Nepal Program Coordinator) has spent the past few months helping local communities organize several afforestation events. What is afforestation? It’s not reforestation. Reforestation occurs when young trees are planted in a forest that has been decimated by fire or logging activities. Afforestation happens when trees are planted in areas that never had trees. Such efforts not only beautify landscapes, but also provide critical erosion protection and contribute to the reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Due to Mr. Rijal’s partnership efforts, over a 1,000 seedlings comprised of a dozen tree and shrub species have been planted on a hillside that boasts a spectacular view down the Kathmandu Valley. On the days of the planting, students, villagers as well as police and military personnel all came together to improve the environment and their community. The success of these afforestation activities has been publicized by the media throughout Nepal. The Tarakeshwarites are so proud of their accomplishment that they now plan to make a garden at this beautiful location to be a place for peace and reflection.