Stand for Sam

Contact: 
Lauren Augusta, Executive Director, mesa@mesaprogram.org, (510) 654-8858

Sam was following in Scott’s and his mom Laura’s green footsteps, helping to run the family’s small CSA and sharing his enormous passion for planting trees with everyone who knew him. Sam "planted the seeds of projects" in all of his friends. In Scott’s own words: “Sam not only loved native trees -- with oaks, redwoods and sequoias being top favorites --  he designed and planted food forests. Sam was a dedicated water harvester who built micro swales and basins to collect rainwater to nurture all of the trees that he planted. Sam was a dedicated composter and mulched all of the trees he cared for to make them as healthy as possible.

Sam was a passionate organic farmer and he wanted to inspire and train fellow young people to raise food and steward the environment. He was already a giant of a man with wisdom far beyond the wonderful 19 years we shared with him on this plane.Sam's vision was to personally plant 1 million trees "to help save the lungs of the planet." He believed that to save our world "we must begin to plant trees in huge numbers to counter the devastating effects of deforestation and development."

Scott, Laura, Joe and Lily Murray are forming "Sam Murray's Future Farm Foundation" to create a living and growing memory of Sam and to invite people arosam_logo.jpgund the world to help Sam plant trees to save the lungs of the planet and to educate people about how to be the farmers of the future.

Again, quoting Scott: “We want to organize first the tree planting project that we call "Stand for Sam". This will involve asking people to plant trees and then to report on our new website the location, type and number of trees. We will work with MESA, our organizational partners and former interns to start tree nurseries around the world that will be set up in collaboration with local organizations and educational institutions.

Sam would like to encourage students and farmers to collect seed from locally adapted trees, set up the nurseries, plant seeds, care for trees and then to distribute them to local farmers and others who would plant them, prepare water harvesting swales to enhance their growth and take care of them.

mariana_sam_treejpg_0.jpgWithin hours of receiving the Murray family’s tragic news, MESA’s inbox was flooded with email from Scott’s former Stewards, offering to plant trees in their own communities to honor Sam’s memory. Stewards in Chile, Mexico, Peru, Thailand and Ecuador have mobilized to plant trees in Sam’s name, be it a single tree planted by MESA alumnus Mariana Aruajo in her backyard in Loja, Ecuador or the planting of a tree in the sacred valley of the Incas. We are engaging the support of two farm communities in Abancayo, Peru to establish a tree nursery to produce 30,000 tree seedlings each year to protect the watersheds and produce food for the future.

Sam's Foundation will direct donations to MESA for the "Stand for Sam" project and then utilize the MESA system to fill out an application for a "Stand for Sam" project that will build International Agroecology Projects for Food Sovereignty and Conservation. Let us make it easy but add an action project that is customized to each country. We will plant native vegetation suitable to each area and fruit trees that could build the food sheds.” We will continue Sam's work and use his inspiration and ideals to refocus our work and to promote his vision and intention as a living growing memory of Sam.”

Sam's myriad MESA friends are eager to plant many more trees in Mexico, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, France, Ghana and Thailand. To make a donation to "Stand for Sam", please click here.

This incredible group spent an engaging week together in the Bay Area from October 19-24. Thank you to all who supported this year's celebratory finale.