Project Caitreena:

Outlander Fans 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. 

Project Caitreena - planting trees Caitríona Balfe

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!

Twitter Project Caitreena

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.”

Sam Heughan Twitter Post About Project Caitreena

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!

Happy Birthday Caitríona Balfe Tree Fundraiser

A Global Impact 

Why are we considering project Caitreena 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. This project is currently supporting AFR100, the African Forest Landscape Initiative. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Provide jobs to minimize poverty in local communities
  • Improve climate change resilience & mitigation
  • Restore forest cover to improve food security
  • Africa is home to the world's second-largest tropical rainforest. The Congo Basin is home to 60% of the continent's biodiversity. However, unfortunately, Africa is alarmingly at risk due to the current deforestation rate - which is 4 times the global deforestation rate. Not only does this threaten the livelihoods of its local communities, but it also affects the planet as a whole.
    Thanks to AFR100, Africa is on a mission to reverse these trends and restore 100 million hectares of land by 2030. This country-led effort will bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030. This initiative aims to accelerate restoration to enhance food security, increase climate change resilience and mitigation and combat rural poverty. This includes 32 participating countries in Africa, along with local communities, national governments, public and private sector partners, and international development programs.
  • Planting trees in Africa reaps multiple benefits! Notably, reforestation here will help to add nutrients to the soil and control erosion, minimize poverty within local communities through the creation of jobs, and improve food security by feeding impoverished families through the planting of fruit trees. Ultimately, added forest cover in this region will diminish pressure on remaining forests, allowing for biodiversity to flourish and ultimately helping with the global climate crisis.
  • 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.
  • We will plant an array of indigenous tree species throughout Africa, such as Senegalia polyacantha, Faidherbia albida, Albizia adianthifolia, Persea americana, Calliandra calothyrsus, Macadamia spp., shea, and mahogany. Fruit trees will also be planted, which include mango, orange, tangerine, avocado, apple, guava, and Brazil nut.

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