Colorado Governor John Wright Hickenlooper is on Israel on a visit, and is set to meet with a number of dignitaries, including President Shimon Peres and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. Hickenlooper arrived in Israel last week, and visited Yad Vashem, where he planted a tree in the Aminadav Forest in Jerusalem hills, at foot of Yad Kennedy monument in the Jerusalem hills.
Hickenlooper was very excited to plant a tree, he told KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler. Hickenlooper said that as a former Mayor of Denver, he was well familiar with the complexity of tree planting. As mayor of Denver, he had hoped to plant a million trees, but was able to plant only 240,000. When he heard that KKL-JNF has over the past decades planted 240 million trees, he said "the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now."
According to Stenzler, “tree planting symbolizes the connection and rootedness to the soil and ground. Each and every tree planted, especially by someone of the stature of Governor Hickenlooper, strengthens and deepens the relationship with KKL-JNF.”
Although Hickenlooper is set to meet with Peres, Barkat, and other officials, the trip is being billed as a private one. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has been governor of Colorado since 2001, and is considered a potential presidential candidate.