Earth Day 2021: Celebrating Community Action and Global Partnerships
Meaghan Weeden | April 29, 2021 | 7 min read
2021 EARTH DAY AND EARTH MONTH WERE OUR BIGGEST EVER!
April is almost over, and we're thrilled to share that despite the continued challenges of COVID-19, this was our best Earth Month ever! 3,025 volunteers got their hands into the dirt and planted 11,255 trees to restore 295 acres at 65 events to celebrate Earth Day and Earth Month!
Special thanks to Planet Oat for making these events possible by being our Earth Month sponsor and to Alison Brie for partnering with both of us to get more trees in the ground!
LOCAL COMMUNITIES PLANTING TREES ACROSS THE GLOBE
From Philadelphia to Milan, New Zealand to Uganda, in forest reserves, community parks and watersheds, everywhere we looked was an affirmation of why we do the work we do. Volunteers from all walks of life picked up planting shovels and worked together to restore their local environments. In a changing climate, much is uncertain but some things never change, like the dedication showed by volunteers, the satisfaction of planting trees, and the shared drive to leave this planet a little better than we found it.
Even the one tree planted van made an appearance!
If you were at any events on the west coast in the US, you may have run into a few members of our own team, who attended events, met with partners and toured some of our reforestation sites in our sprinter van. We were so inspired to see all the awesome work being done on the ground, and can't wait to get the van back on the road to visit more planting partners!
here are just a few individual event highlights:
Parco della Vettabbia
In Milan, Italy, 50 volunteers planted 25 native trees and seeded hundreds of local wild perennial herbs and grasses to restore 13 acres of abandoned fields in the urban-agricultural interface. Planting these native species will restore soil structure and health, prepare the land for an eventual integrated agroforestry system, improve the water cycle, increase biodiversity, provide quality recreation opportunities, and more!
3 different tree specieswere planted, including sweet cherry, european oak and white poplar, and 16 native herbaceous perennials were direct seeded, including red, white, and yellow sweet clover, alfalfa, borage, yarrow, lavender, sage, and more!
MPANGA FOREST RESERVE
In Uganda's Mpigi district, 50 volunteers planted 2,500 indigenous tree seedlings to restore 5 acres of land in the Mpanga Forest Reserve, an important habitat center for birds and other wildlife in Uganda. Planting trees here will restore this important habitat, improve water quality and soil health, and more!
The trees were planted by community volunteers and officials that are inspired to be forest stewards. The species they planted were umbrella tree and African cherry and will benefit nature for generations to come!
In Mairehau, Christchurch, New Zealand, 60 volunteers planted 1,728 Kahikatea trees on 2 acres of land to provide food for native birds and help improve water quality in the Cranford Basin, which is part of the Styx River catchment.
Kahikatea, as it's named in the Māori language, is a coniferous tree endemic to New Zealand with buttressed roots and small berries that are a good food source for wildlife. It's New Zealand's tallest indigenous tree and was extensively logged to make butter boxes in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This almost completely removed vital kahikatea-dominated swamp forest ecosystems from New Zealand's North Island and northern South Island.
In Murrigal, Australia, 13 volunteers planted 528 trees from 32 endemic native species to create 5 acres of habitat for endangered wildlife. In addition to improving habitat for biodiversity and supporting nurseries in the local community, planting trees here will improve the quality of water that flows into the Great Barrier Reef!
In Conklin, NY, 21 volunteers planted 330 trees to restore 2 acres of land and improve aquatic habitat by shading the stream bed and reducing stream bank erosion, encourage riparian biodiversity, improve water quality, and more!
The tree species planted included tulip tree, red maple, sycamore, shagbark hickory, dogwood, willow, buttonbush, white pine, red oak, and more!
Special thanks to all of the awesome volunteers that got their hands in the dirt this month, and to our partners on the ground, who made these plantings happen despite the challenges presented by COVID-19!
In addition to having dozens of successful tree planting events, several of our awesome business partners shared the amazing work we've been doing together, and we couldn't be more proud! While we couldn't possibly list them all, we wanted to share a few highlights. Caterpillar, Inc. announced that their philanthropic arm, The Caterpillar Foundation has invested $1 million into planting 290,000 trees on 600 acres in 95 communities across the globe to commemorate their 95th anniversary!
Major League Soccer announced our partnership as part of their MLS WORKS' Greener Goals initiative to plant 27,000 trees — 1,000 for each club currently playing in the league — in National Forests across the United States and Canada. Through this initiative, they'll be restoring a cumulative 67 acres of land — equivalent to 38 soccer pitches!
Barnes & Noble shared their awesome initiative with the Dr. Seuss Estate and Random House Kids to help the Lorax Plant Trees! Throughout the month of April, a tree has been planted for each copy of the Lorax purchased directly through B&N! Acorns shared a post celebrating that they've planted over 500,000 oak trees with us, and even made an additional donation in honor of Earth Day! And the band CAKE launched an awesome fan fundraiser with the goal of planting 25,000 trees with us!
Mother Parkers Tea & Coffeeannounced their commitment to plant over 1 million trees by 2025 to help counter the impact of climate change in the countries where they source their coffee beans and tea leaves. HGTV and Discovery shared celebrity couple Drew Scott & Linda Phan's fundraiser to plant 10,000 trees with us in celebration of their birthday! Indigo Books announced that they’re planting 100,000 trees with us across Canada. And Hotel Engine shared the progress of the 250,000 trees they're planting with us in 2021 to restore forests in the Pacific Northwest, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Colorado!
Ghost lifestyle shared that they've planted 124,432 trees with us so far and launched a special Earth Day gear collection. Fashion brand Johnny Was announced that they'll be planting a tree for every transaction! Universal Music Group also announced that their All Together Now foundation is planting 10,000 trees with us, and that they're planting a tree for every stream of rising artist Dreamer Boy's new album.
Never one to miss a chance to praise Mother Earth, even the gong himself, Bob Marley, rose from the dead to give us an Earth Day shoutout in celebration of the 242,000 trees that the House of Marley has planted with us!
Thank you to all of our amazing business partners who help us get trees in the ground on Earth Day and every day. We're proud to work together with you to restore forests across the globe, one tree at a time!
Missed your chance to participate this Earth Month? Not to worry! You can sign up at any time to become a business partner, and in the meantime, you can still help us get trees in the ground! 🌿