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Project CaiTreeNa: OUTLANDER FANS BAND TOGETHER TO MAKE A GLOBAL IMPACT

Kaylee Brzezinski | October 19, 2020 | 5 min read
Caitriona Balfe photographed by Michael Beckert for W Magazine

Outlander Fans Band Together to Make a Global Impact in Honor of Actress Caitríona Balfe's Birthday!

In the midst of a global pandemic, most of us have experienced a longing for connection. This was the case for fifteen women who found themselves connected via social media over one common interest, Caitriona Balfe the leading lady of Starz' hit show Outlander. These fans from all over the world bonded over their admiration for Balfe's philanthropic spirit and wanted to find a way to not only show thanks to her but to also make a positive impact on the world just as their idol has. 

With Caitríona's 41st birthday on the horizon back in September, the gang thought it would be a great time to do something special and what better way to do that than to plant 41 trees for each year of Caitríona's life? Well, apparently it was a really great plan because that number quickly grew to 410 trees until Caitríona Balfe herself caught wind of the initiative and tweeted that she would match up to 5,000 trees! Shortly after the "tweet heard round the world" happened the group quickly surpassed 5,000 trees and #ProjectCaiTREEna was born!

It Didn't End There...

What started with 15 excited fans turned into HUNDREDS of eager fans wanting to show love for Caitríona's birthday, and they began contributing to the official birthday fundraiser too. The goal of 5,000 trees kept moving higher and higher and before we knew it October 4th, Caitríona's birthday, was here. By then the group had almost reached 30,000 trees donated, causing fans to coin the name “Balforest".

Just as we thought the momentum was slowing down and the birthday party was wrapping up, every Outlander fan's dream came true. Sam Heughan, Caitríona's co-star joined the birthday fun by wishing her a Happy Birthday with some kind words in addition to the gift that lasts a lifetime, trees!

We caught up with Sam and here's what he had to say about the birthday festivities, “I’m thrilled to see an outpour of Outlander fans banding together to support global reforestation efforts with One Tree Planted. Caitríona is a huge advocate for the environment, and it’s fantastic to witness how she inspires others to get involved and make a difference.” He continued, “When I noticed the campaign rapidly gaining traction, I knew I had to jump in on the action! I’m really excited to see what the final number of trees being planted will be.”

Another Reason to Celebrate

The response to the birthday campaign was consistently overwhelming in the most positive of ways. We saw an incredible group of loving fans come together for a common cause, most of the Outlander cast hopping on board to celebrate their friend, and we read numerous encouraging messages and tweets about how good it felt to plant so many trees! Before we knew it #ProjectCaiTREEna surpassed 55,000 trees planted!

A Global Impact 

So why are we considering this a global impact? Because so many trees are being planted as a result, we are able to help fund several different reforestation projects all over the world!

Here are the regions where Caitríona's trees will be planted:

  • 9,000 fruit trees in India to help with food security.
  • 9,000 native trees in Uganda to benefit endangered Chimpanzees.
  • 8,000 native trees in the Andesto benefit Indigenous communities.
  • 6,000 native trees in California for forest fires recovery.
  • 7,000 native trees in Oregon for forest fires recovery.
  • 8,447 native trees in Australia for bushfire recovery and habitat restoration.

We want to say thank you to all involved in the planting of these trees especially to the inspiring 15 women who started this incredible initiative, lead by Ashley Holle. We are truly honored to be a part of this awesome movement. If you're feeling inspired consider planting a tree today!

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. Today, we're raising funds to jumpstart forest fire recovery in British Columbia. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Restore landscapes damaged by a historic season of wildfires
  • Create habitat for iconic biodiversity like the moose and grizzly bear
  • Support old-growth management areas to maintain complex ecosystems
  • This reforestation initiative is helping to restore the landscape in British Columbia after the Hanceville fire burned over 590,000 acres in 2017 and natural regeneration has not occurred. The fire has impacted the forest, soils, riparian ecosystems, wildlife, and water quality. Local indigenous communities have seen their ability to hunt and gather food drastically altered. But your support will go a long way! The goal of planting trees here is to not only re-establish a healthy forest, but also to plant species that will be resilient in the face of climate change. Thank you so much for your support of healthy forests! 🌲
  • Planting trees will catalyze the process of returning the area to a forested state. Newly planted trees will begin the process of sequestering atmospheric carbon, and over time improve the hydrological benefits of the forest. The ecosystems that have been greatly simplified by extreme fire conditions will once again become complex ecosystems, This project will also create habitat for many local wildlife species including mule deer, moose, black and grizzly bear, wolves, sandhill cranes, various raptors, songbirds, and small mammals.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • B.C.'s rich forest diversity includes more than 40 different species of native trees, with some of Canada’s most interesting and valuable tree species. In this project, we made efforts to maximize species diversity, including the following species: Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, hybrid spruce, ponderosa pine, trembling aspen.

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