The Kate Jeans-Gail Tree Nursery Memorial honors the spirited life of a young woman whose commitment to changing the world will not be forgotten. Kate Jeans-Gail served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in southern Morocco from 2001-2003, and loved the country and its people. This memorial project is a living reminder of Kate and the many ways she touched our lives.
Thank you to Kevin Jeans-Gail and Liz Fanning whose leadership, time, and energy allowed this project to take shape and flourish, and to all of Kate's family and friends who gave (and continue to give!) so generously to remember Kate in this special way.
• About Kate Jeans-Gail
Katherine ("Kate") Jeans-Gail was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Boise Eliot Elementary School and St. Mary's Academy in Portland in 1997, and received a BA from Smith College in 2001. Kate was involved with volunteer work throughout her life, including working with orphans through Mother Theresa's Missionary Sisters of Charity in Calcutta, India. She joined the Peace Corps immediately after college and was assigned to a remote village in southern Morocco as a maternal-child health technician. Widely recognized by her peers and supervisors as a star volunteer, she successfully pursued a grant from the United States Agency for International Development to build a health clinic and birthing center, among other projects. Also while in the Peace Corps, Kate was elected to represent the health sector on the Volunteer Action Committee (VAC), and was a leader and trainer with the Volunteer Support Network (VSN). Kate and her fellow volunteers were evacuated at the start of the Iraq War in March 2003. Upon returning to the US, Kate joined Teach For America in New York City. Tragically, in December 2003, she and her mother, Victoria Jeans-Gail, passed away in a car accident in Oregon.
• About the Project
In June 2006, at a reception held at the residence of Moroccan Ambassador to the US, H.E. Aziz Mekouar, the Board of Directors of HAF announced the creation of this special memorial project. The goal: raise $25,000 to plant 60,000 fruit tree saplings in a community tree nursery in the Tifnoute Valley, located on the south side of Toubkal National Park, in Taradouante Province. The community identified the land for the nursery, the types of trees they wished to plant, and created a management plan - taking full ownership of the project. All forty villages in the valley have access to the nursery, and special attention is given to include the most marginalized villages. Income generated from the trees from sale of fruit at local markets at least doubles household incomes in several years time - profoundly changing lives.
Donations came in from across the country and within six months of launching the project, we had raised the funds to make it a reality. In February 2007, cherry and apple saplings were planted and for the next two years they were cared for by the local community. In February 2009, the saplings had matured and were distributed to nearly 250 households in the Valley, including twenty-eight villages. The nursery will continue to be cared for and replenished, providing fruit trees for many generations to come.
- In 2010, the High Atlas Foundation replanted Kate's community nursery with an additional 40,000 walnut and cherry saplings. Importantly, most of the saplings came from the fruit trees from earlier HAF distributions, and they have taken root in the nursery. This means that the local people can now replenish their own orchards without any outside dependency, including technical.
- Our goal for this 2011 planting season is to include in Kate’s Memorial an almond nursery of 70,000 saplings to be built in the same Toubkal Commune but in the lower lying (warmer) village of Ouanzourt. This will mean that in time these fruit tree varieties (almond, cherry, and walnut) that grow naturally in the region can be replenished by local people themselves.
In Kate’s memory, HAF and its community partners are close to achieving an agricultural model for the country.
• Donate to the Memorial
Your contribution to the Kate Jeans-Gail Tree Nursery Memorial helps the local community purchase new saplings for the nursery and supports workshops that transfer important technical skills in fruit tree agriculture. You can make a secure online donation or donate by check (when donating online please send us an email to let us know you would like your donation to be directed to the Kate Jeans Gail Memorial and when donating by check simply indicate so in the memo).Share