Course Title:
Article summary
The article “Keep off the Grass” by Tracy Vence focuses on the effort by ecologists to
respond to the threat of global climate change through planting of trees. Different Governments,
NGOs and international donors have contributed a lot in afforestation and reforestation with the
aim of achieving ecosystem restoration and preservation. However, according to Vence, there is
a disconnection between the way the ecosystem restoration program is being implemented and
what ecologists have advised. United Nation and World Bank invest billions of dollars annually
to encourage the world to plant trees (Vence, 2016). Nevertheless, the idea is noble, but scientific
research is required in order to establish if planting trees is the solution in all places such
savannah land, woodlands and grassland. Ecologists have warned that afforestation of the
grassland may affect the soil’s ability to store nutrients such as phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon
and this is not yet known how it will affect plant life.
How the article relates to the course:
The article relates to a great extent to the broad biological concept of ecology and
ecosystem because it explains about ways in which the society can restore the ecosystem by
planting trees. On the same note, ecology deeply elaborates on how living organisms interact
with each other and with the physical and chemical component of their surrounding environment
(Schmitz, 2013).The living organisms depend on their environment for their sole existence and
survival. If their environment is interfered with, their existence is threatened and can suffer
extinction. The study of ecology has provided me with a great background knowledge in
understanding the article, especially the writer’s point of view on why scientific research is
needed before planting trees in the grassland.
What got my attention 
What got my attention in the article is the relevance of the topic, especially in today’s
world where the climate change is a real threat. Increased industrialization in our today’s
societies has led to the pollution and degradation of our environment. Today, great climate
changes have been witnessed, such as global warming, ozone layer destruction, irregular climate
patterns, and floods among others and have affected all countries in the world.The irregular
climate patterns have resulted in a shortage of food since farmers are not able to predict the
climate and the land also have been rendered infertile through pollution (NRDC n.d).
Personally the issue of climate change has affected my life, in that our family land has
become less productive because of the pollution of the environment. The knowledge on how to
conserve the environment will enable me to be careful, lead a better life, and contribute to
restoring the productivity of my farm and increase food. The article emphasizes the importance
of planting trees. However, I strongly believe that scientific research is needed to guide these
activities, of environment conservation so that we do not cause more harm even if our intentions
are good. It is believed that planting trees on the grassland may result in the destruction of the
land since it affects soil’s ability to store nutrients (Vence, 2016).
Funding and rating
The research on ecosystem restoration and preservation should be funded by the
government through taxpayer’s money and also the private sector. This is because I believe
environment conservation is everyone’s responsibility. If we protect the environment, it will
protect us in return. More funds can also be gotten from donor’s contributions and global charity
events. This study is of high priority due to the threat posed by climate change have been
identified to be more serious compared to other threats such as terrorism. This is why every 
government should allocate enough resource to enable people conserve and protect the
NRDC (n.d). Demand climate action: Clean power plan. Retrieved on 5th February 2016 from
Schmitz, J.O. (2013). Ecology and Ecosystem conservation. USA. Island Press.
Vence, T (2016).Keep off the Grass. Retrieved on 5th February 2016 from  

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