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The Fulbright Programme celebrates the success of its inaugural Fulbright Community Action Day, which took place on 14 January 2012. Lead by Angus Crabbie, Director of Trees4Scotland, 36 American Scholars, British Award Finalists, alumni and staff learnt the art of planting native species trees in the Teaghlach Woods, Comrie, Scotland. As part of an on-going initiative to regenerate non-farmed forests in the Scottish Highlands, the group managed to plant approximately 150 trees, creating a new woodland environment now dubbed the ‘Fulbright Forest’.
The Community Action Day was an exciting opportunity for British and American Fulbright programme participants and alumni to meet one another whilst giving back to the community and promoting a better environment.
Commenting on the event, Michael Scott Kline, Director of the Fulbright Programme, said:
‘The Community Action Day was a great opportunity for our scholars and alumni to come together to give something back to society – knowing and appreciating the investment society has made in them via the Fulbright Programme. It shows the energy and enthusiasm that Fulbright Scholars have to make positive change in our two countries.’
Along with planting trees the group was given a tour of Cultibraggan Army Camp, an old WWII POW camp now the setting of an Eco-centre for the Village of Comrie. The group enjoyed learning about the efforts of the people of Comrie to ensure the camp is developed into a space where local businesses can develop and community projects, including allotments, educational space and sporting grounds, can be based each with sustainability at their core.
Fulbright Scholar at the University of Strathclyde, Jordan Covvey, commented:
‘I'll have to come back in 20 years time and see our little Fulbright Forest blooming up here in the beautiful Highlands.’
The Fulbright Programme thanks State Alumni, the US-based US government alumni network for contributing funding to make the day possible, and the British Fulbright Scholars Association (BFSA), Trees4Scotland and all who took part, for their help in making the first Fulbright Community Action Day such a success.
There will be three further Community Action Days in in 2012: one each in Northern Ireland, Wales and England. Details about future events will be available from the Fulbright website.