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Oct 04th
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Taking New Steps Abroad

greatwallLocals race for a greener China

Kimberly Bingham and her husband were only planning to stay in China for a year. Six years down the road, the Santa Cruz couple—along with their two children—have found themselves making leaps and bounds to help the biggest continent on Earth a greener place for us all.

Bingham, who was born and raised in Santa Cruz, is now teaching in Suzhou, China.  She is currently training with a team for the Great Wall Marathon, a race that has been run by only about 11,000 people to date. She plans on running not only as a test to her own physical strength—the race consists of 5164 steps—but also as a fundraiser for the Million Trees Project, which is dedicated to improving both ecological and humanitarian conditions in inner Mongolia.


“Living abroad, especially living in Asia, you see things that are sometimes really difficult to see—both human suffering and just general damage to the planet ... you have to decide pretty early on if you are going to care about the things you see,” Bingham says.  “If this were about planting a tree in China and walking away, it would be a waste. I really appreciate that the Million Tree Project is focused on the big picture ... reforestation is of critical importance for the overall health of our entire planet.”

Bingham and her husband, Mike Bingham, are looking both in and around China and to their hometown of Santa Cruz for help raising funds. “I really do believe that most people in Santa Cruz are interested in knowing about ways in which they can help improve the health of our planet on a more global level and in effective, really useful way,” she says. “Bringing together a project that’s happening in China along with the people of Santa Cruz seemed like a really good idea.”

The Great Wall Marathon is set to take off on May 19.  Donations will be accepted through May 25.

For more information about the Great Wall Marathon, visit
For more information about the Million Trees Project, visit

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