We've had an amazing winter/spring planting season so far this year, and wanted to share some reforestation highlights with you. These aren't the only planting projects we've funded this year, but we chose some recent ones that happened around Earth Day, had great community participation, or simply have an interesting story.
80,000 trees planted in Oregon
Through our network of partners including the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Willamette Basin partners, we've planted 80,000 trees (and shrubs and other plants) in Oregon between January-March 2018. Much of this was in riparian forests in the Willamette Valley, partly supporting the Willamette Mission Floodplain Reforestation project, which has been an ongoing effort in the region since 2013.
Poor water quality, invasive aquatic species, lack of good channel complexity for local fish and wildlife, elevated water temperature, and loss of floodplain function have all been identified as resulting from the conversion of old growth forests to farmland and urban development over the past century. Reforestation here will help rebuild corridors for upstream and downstream movement of fish and wildlife, reduce habitat fragmentation, improve water quality, and support biodiversity. It will also improve the resilience of forested areas to endure future stressors, including climate change and introduction of new invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer.
This is also where we had the opportunity to shoot a new video focused on one of the professional tree-planters who participated in this project, and we got some great volunteer turnout in Portland!
7,000 trees planted in Colorado
In what's quickly becoming an annual tree-planting event in Colorado to help with post-wildfire ecological restoration, we had an amazing day planting trees with several hundred volunteers in Colorado on Earth Day. You can check out the full story for all the photos and videos, and to see why this event almostdidn't happen!
2,200 trees planted in Brazil
We have an incredible partner in Bananal, Brazil, who have organized two planting projects in March and April. The focus here is on the Atlantic Forest, which has seen significant losses of trees due to logging, mining, farming, grazing, wildfires, and unplanned urbanization. This has had a huge impact on the ecosystem. Through our work with The Association of Residents and Friends of the Bocaina Valley (AMOVALE), we have planted several thousand native trees this year, 5,000 last year, and likely many more when the rainy season comes again this fall!
What's especially great about these plantings in Brazil is that they mobilize the local community to come out and participate in restoring the land. There is a big emphasis on inspiring local school children to attend, plant trees, and learn about the environment so that they can be good stewards of the Earth when they grow up.
Over 100,000 oak trees planted and distributed in 20 states
We've been focusing quite a bit on oak trees since our partnership with Acorns began, and this has lead to an incredible project with Living Lands and Waters as part of their Million Trees project where we supported the distribution of 102,866 oak trees to 20 different states with support from students and local residents in Illinois. Oak trees provide many benefits to the environment and wildlife, by producing a high-protein food source in acorns, stabilizing the soil with their vast root systems, and absorbing carbon. And it's always a great thing when students can get involved.
Tree-planting and site maintenance in Stanley Park, Vancouver
We recently had two events with the Stanley Park Ecological Society (SPES) in Vancouver! One was an Earth Day event where volunteers could plant trees, learn about local conservation, and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the SPES, and the other was a corporate social responsibility event with our reforestation business partners at DHL. While tree-planting is our mission, there is quite a lot of related ecological work that is equally important for environmental and social impact, and on this day DHL staff mostly did site maintenance work such as weeding, removing debris, and preparing the land for future projects.